Obama says Arkansas 'not alone' in recovery

President Obama promised Wednesday the federal government is "going to be right here" to help rebuild communities in storm-ravaged Arkansas during brief remarks in the states. 

Speaking at a destroyed subdivision in Vilonia, Ark., Obama said when natural disasters strike a community they affect the entire country. 

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"I'm here to remind them that they're not doing this work alone. You're country's going to be here for you," he said. "We're going to support you every step of the way. You are in our thoughts and prayers."

Before the brief remarks, Obama met first responders and others affected by the storm during a private meeting at the city hall. He also toured the community that was struck by a category four tornado on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. 

Obama signed a disaster declaration for the state late last month to aid in the recovery after severe storms killed more than a dozen people in the state. 

Obama described the people of Vilonia as "tough," noting that many were still rebuilding after tornadoes struck the town three years earlier. 

"So this is testament to the strength of this community, the strength of Arkansas and the strength of America. And — and I could not be more proud of everybody who's participated in the recovery process," he said. 

The trip came a day after the White House released a report that found climate change is raising temperatures and contributing to storms, drought and increased wildfires. However, he did not address the report in his brief remarks Wednesday. 

When he arrived, Obama was greeted in Arkansas by Gov. Mike Beebe (D), Sen. Mark Pryor (D), Rep. Tim Griffin (R) and the mayor of Little Rock, Mark Stodola.

Obama noted that in addition to buildings and infrastructure damage, the community's economy and sales tax base would be impacted by the recovery. 

"I'll be sure to work with Congressman Griffin and Senator Pryor and Governor Beebe to see if we can do something on that front as well," he said. 

Last Month, the president toured Oso, Wash., the site of major landslide that killed more than 40 people, before departing on his weeklong trip to Asia. 

Obama is scheduled to fly to Los Angeles on Wednesday night, where he will deliver remarks a joint fundraising event for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. 

Obama is later expected to give remarks at the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation dinner. The foundation produces interviews with survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust.