Obama In Tuscaloosa: 'I've never seen devastation like this.'

Apr 29, 2011

As President Barack Obama travelled through Tuscaloosa, Ala. to survey the damage left behind by Wednesday's series of deadly tornadoes, he said he had "never seen devastation like this."

"We're going to make sure you're not forgotten," Obama told residents.

The Tuscaloosa News reports that the president toured a large part of Tuscaloosa. He visited the Alberta City neighborhood, which the News reporter described as a "war zone." "The stench of natural gas still hangs heavy in the air," he reported.

First lady Michelle Obama hugged some volunteers. The AP reports the president spoke to one young man who told him the wind swirled debris all around him, yet he emerged with with only cuts and bruises.

"It's a blessing you are here," Obama said.

The death toll of the Wednesday storms has almost reached 300. The AP reports it's the greatest outbreak of tornadoes in the U.S. since 1974. President Obama has already declared a state of emergency in Alabama. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.