Six U.S. states are trying to come out of the shock of one of the worst U.S. disasters since 2005’s Hurricane Katrina. If you can believe it, 241 tornadoes ripped through the south, leaving miles of destruction, homes simply gone and at least 44 dead, many, many more injured. The three-day rampage is believed to be among the largest tornadic outbreaks since record keeping began. With untold numbers losing everything they had, including family and neighbors, Obama headed to the opposite side of the U.S. to campaign. Not only is he not visiting the devastation, he isn’t talking much about it either, other than declaring a “disaster” for some affected areas, and a mention at a White House prayer breakfast. See two amazing storm videos below. The second is a time-lapse as the tornado neared downtown Raleigh, North Carolina.
Vice President Joe Biden and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar aren’t interested either. This from Keith Koffler at White House Dossier:
Obama’s failure to publicly attend to the fallout from the tornadoes comes on the one-year anniversary of the rig explosion that caused the Gulf oil spill. Obama was roundly criticized then for failing to respond sufficiently to the crisis.
The president’s silence and absence during the current crisis is particularly odd given his political stakes in North Carolina, which barely went for Obama over McCain in 2008. Obama is so desperate to hold the state that he’s chosen to hold the 2012 Democratic convention there, in Charlotte.
No surprise, Obama played golf on Sunday – his 64th visit to the links since he took office – third time in the last three weeks.
The Raleigh, North Carolina area lost their 24th victim today. One storm had winds of up to 165 mph and traveled 63 miles through Raleigh and two other towns. In Bertie County alone, 11 persons died. Governor Beverly Perdue announced today that 440 homes were destroyed.
Arkansas reported 7 deaths, Alabama 7, Virginia 6 and Mississippi 1, and Oklahoma 2.
Twenty-one tornadoes touched down in Oklahoma. In the small town of Tushka, Oklahoma in Atoka County, two elderly sisters were left dead in the wake. Two hundred homes and businesses were damaged, including 149 destroyed.
Remember when George Bush waited a few days before visiting the Katrina destruction, and was roundly flogged for trying not to stress security for a presidential visit? Security would not have been a concern in these areas.
Tushka, Oklahoma Tornado – Storm Chaser Video
Raleigh Time-Lapse Video as Tornado Nears Downtown April 2010