Obama Visits Tornado-Ravaged Joplin

By: ERICA WERNER - Associated Press Writer
By: ERICA WERNER - Associated Press Writer

Exactly a week after Joplin was hit by the deadliest tornado to strike the United States in decades, President Barack Obama visited the Missouri city to offer hope to survivors and promises of help.

Obama came face to face Sunday with the legions of homeless, consoling the community during a memorial service to remember the more than 130 people killed in the storm.

The crowd cheered when Obama said, "I promise you your country will be there with you every single step of the way." It was a pledge he extended to all parts of the nation raked by violent storms this season.

Authorities are still trying to identify victims and volunteers are combing through the demolished neighborhoods. As of late Sunday, 39 people remained unaccounted for, plus four others whose families have reported them dead a week after a massive tornado hit Joplin.

However, the Missouri Department of Public Safety says those four haven't been officially confirmed dead.

The tornado, an EF-5 packing 200 mph winds, injured more than 900 people. Tallying and identifying the dead and the missing has proven a complex and sometimes confusing exercise for authorities and loved ones.

©2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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