Nightly News   |  May 26, 2013

Obama tours Moore tornado devastation

President Obama on Sunday toured the devastation caused by the tornado in Moore, Okla., as residents went to church looking for answers. NBC’s Ron Mott reports.

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>>> moore, president obama was in that storm ravaged town in oklahoma today , the scene of monday's ferocious tornado that killed 24 people and devastatesdevastated this oklahoma city suburb. the president offered financial support and words of comfort to the survivors and grieving families. nbc's ron mott was there. ron ?

>> reporter: lester, good evening. those two dozen people who were killed here on monday are being honored tomorrow night at a memorial service behind me. earlier president obama urged all americans to do their part to help moore gate back on its feet.

>> reporter: today's church services in moore were filled with songs of praise , as usual. but unlike other sundays, they worshipped outside at south gate baptist church . the building is still without power. across town at suburban baptist the sermon was focused on a pointed question.

>> what does this mean? if there is a god, why does he allow all this stuff to happen?

>> reporter: a half-dozen families who worship here lost their homes yet the pastor's 17-year-old son colton says their faith survived the tornado's 200-mile-per-hour winds intact.

>> god's going to take care of us, whr ever we're at. we trust in him and he's got a plan for everything and we know that.

>> reporter: a steady stream of relief supplies is flowing in from around the nation as displaced residents continued sifting through what's left of where they loved. earlier today air force one touched down in the tornado zone reminding residents the recovery will be difficult and long.

>> if i have's got one message for folks here today, go online, donate to the american red cross .

>> reporter: mr. obama promised residents the federal government will be with them every step of the way.

>> when we say that we've got your back, i promise you we keep our word.

>> reporter: noting fema has logged 4,200 registrations for disaster aid already paying out $3.4 million. oklahoma's governor is hoping that assistance remains reliable as rebuilding efforts begin.

>> we know at different times in the past money hasn't always come as quickly as it should.

>> reporter: meantime, the faithful counted their blessings. a community thankful in spite of the devastation, grateful this memorial day weekend it wasn't any worse. the salvation army has collected about $5 million in donations since monday. the american red cross , $15 million, a quarter of which came by those $10 cell phone text messages. zp ron mott in moore , oklahoma tonight,