Rescuers found an 11-month-old boy beside debris left in the wake of deadly storms. Kyson Stowell's mother Kerri Stowell was one of 32 who died in the series of storms that swept across Tennessee. more>>
LAFAYETTE, Tenn. - President Bush visited the wreckage of Tuesday's string of tornadoes that ripped across Tennessee.
A series of severe storms slammed through five Southern states this week. Thirty three people died in Tennessee. The storms also injured 180 people.
When he arrived, the president spoke with an emergency worker who rescued an 11-month-old Sumner County boy tossed to safety during the tornado.
"He asked a few questions about the baby, about the mother," said David Harmon.
Harmon said the president thanked him for his hard work.
"He said thank you for the good job that I done. He told me to keep up the hard work and that he was really proud of me," said Harmon, who works for Wilson County Emergency Management Agency.
Then the president took an aerial tour of Macon County where 14 people died.
Officials from the Federal Emergency management Agency briefed Bush on damage throughout the state as well as relief efforts.
In Lafayette, Gov. Phil Bredesen and U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker accompanied Bush after he landed in one of the hardest-hit parts of Tennessee.
He met with several families affected by the storm. He pledged federal aid to help victims rebuild their communities and their lives.
"We want the folks to know there is help from the federal government," he said.
He also thanked rescue workers and volunteers who helped with cleanup as well as search and rescue.
"I've come away with this impression of the folks in Macon County. One, they're down-to-earth, good, hardworking people," he said. "They have a respect for the Almighty. And this community is going to be as strong as ever."
President Bush ordered federal aid to the areas struck by deadly tornadoes. Federal funding will be available to individuals in Hardin, Macon, Madison, Shelby, and Sumner counties, which he declared disaster areas.
Victims in these counties are eligible for funding to pay for temporary housing, cleanup and rebuilding.