"At this time, we don't know the full extent of the damage and the potential human toll. But we're inspired. We're inspired by those who are sparing no effort to assist their neighbors, and even many people they don't know."

By early Monday evening, reports out of Moore were that at least two dozen children were killed when a mile-wide tornado hit an elementary school. Reports of other deaths across the city were being reported as well.

"I pray for each victim of these storms, for all of the emergency responders and the ordinary citizens who are stepping forward to help in any way they can," Bridenstine said. "We are grateful for everyone working to secure the affected area, and to account for every man, woman and child."