May 12,2008 00:00
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Federal assistance representatives will see damage first-hand in a tour of the U.S. states ripped by tornadoes that killed at least 22 people, officials said.
Tornadoes spun along a path from Oklahoma into Missouri and Georgia during the weekend, leaving at least 22 people dead, officials said. The twisters packed winds of up to 175 miles per hour, CNN reported.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Federal Emergency Management Agency chief David Paulison said representatives of their offices planned to tour the disaster areas Tuesday.
President George Bush offered condolences to the families of the tornado victims in a statement issued Sunday.
"Mother's Day is a sad day for those who lost their lives in Oklahoma, Missouri and Georgia because of the tornadoes," Bush said in Waco, Texas. "The federal government will be moving hard to help."
Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry declared a state of emergency in Ottawa County, CNN reported.
""It's just horrific, it's devastating to all of us. It appears the search-and-rescue part of the mission is over and now we're in the cleanup phase."
"It looks like a war zone," Michelann Ooten, an Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management spokeswoman, told CNN.
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