Barack Obama
Charles Dharapak  /  AP
President Barack Obama makes a statement to reporters about tornado damage in the United States at Winfield House in London on Tuesday.
updated 5/24/2011 9:12:24 AM ET 2011-05-24T13:12:24

President Barack Obama says he will travel to Missouri on Sunday to meet with people affected by the devastating tornadoes there.

The president said Tuesday he wants Midwesterners whose lives were upended by the deadly storms last weekend to know that the federal government will use all the resources at its disposal to help them recover and rebuild. He also phoned Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon again Tuesday to get an update on the destruction in the state, the White House said.

Story: Nursing home lost at least 11 in Joplin twister

More than 100 people were killed in the Missouri town of Joplin when a monster twister hit Sunday. A hospital and countless homes and businesses were destroyed, and more storms, possibly strong ones, are on the horizon.

"I want everybody in Joplin, everybody in Missouri, everybody in Minnesota, everybody across the Midwest to know that we are here for you," the president said in London, the second stop on his four-country, six-day tour of Europe.

"The American people are by your side. We're going to stay there until every home is repaired, until every neighborhood is rebuilt, until every business is back on its feet."

Story: Obama toasts queen, special US-Britain bond

Obama is due back in Washington Saturday night.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Joplin mayor: Hoping for more survivors

  1. Closed captioning of: Joplin mayor: Hoping for more survivors

    >> the mayor of joplin along with craig fugate. good morning to you both.

    >> good morning.

    >> mayor, over the past couple of dayses your town was described as a war zone . the pictures bear that out. it's terrible destruction. do you feel, are you confident you have the resources you need to handle this disaster?

    >> i think we do, meredith. we have had overwhelming support from agencies at the local, state and federal level . mr. fugate said he's visited with the white house . we have had pledges from virtually every level that we'll have resources and support we need.

    >> you have spoken to the white house . what have they pledged to do for joplin ?

    >> i spoke to the president this morning. yesterday the president declared this a disaster area , adding it to the ongoing response in missouri to other tornadoeses whi which meanses people can apply to fema. we're here for the long haul, not just for the response, as the mayor said. local and state officials have that. we are here to support them as we think about what it will take to recover and rebuild.

    >> there's been good news though. 17 people pulled out alive on monday. that's heartening, obviously for folks there in joplin . where do you stand in terms of rescue and recovery? do you have any idea how many people are still unaccounted for?

    >> we don't have any idea. i stopped at the emergency on raceses se -- operations centerer this morning. most have gone home for rest after a long day yesterday. we'll get organized to search again. virtually every grid has been searched at least one time. several have been searched as many as three times. we'll continue the effort to find the folks we can and search and rescue throughout the majority of the day. at the end of today we'll look and at some point we'll enter recovery mode.

    >> you still believe there could be people buried alive under the rubble.

    >> there could be. we are searching areas of high concentrations of folks where we think we could have the best luck of finding people. we'll do that throughout the day.

    >> you could be facing more bad weather today. two responders were struck by lightning on monday. you have had heavy rain. how do you prepare for that?

    >> take it as it comes. this is not the first storm we have been through. we have been here before . you just take one day at a time. we'll recover and we will rebuild.

    >> mayor, the people of joplin , they are neighbors who love their neighbors. everyone hases been affected. what do you say to help them cope with the loss they have faced?

    >> i guess just take one day at a time. i was fortunate. i didn't have any family memberses or damage to my property. our hearts go out to the folks who have lost family members. the support of the community, not only our city proper but the surrounding communitieses that have come to help and the folks here to help. we have people who will take in complete strangers and help shelter them. that's the type of community this is. we're glad people do and we'll do anything we can to help them.

    >> finally, for those folks around the country looking at joplin , wanting to help, what can they do?

    >> well, the best thing to do is support your volunteer agencies. here in missouri the governor's emergency management office has a place for people to support the volunteer agencies. give generously. again, there will be a lot of needs here. financial assistance is the best way through the organizationses.

    >> i know how business su


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