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The Nation

Bush Visits Tornado Victims

May 14, 2003|Edwin Chen | Times Staff Writer

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Braving a driving rainstorm and accompanying thunder and lightning, President Bush visited the tornado-ravaged town of Pierce City on Tuesday to talk with residents and survey the damage.

He promised to expedite assistance to the southwestern Missouri community after some residents complained of slow government action.

"We will do everything we can to get you ... what you're owed," Bush told several hundred people who gathered at St. Mary's Catholic Church, a staging area for the massive relief effort.

"We'll process the paperwork as fast as possible. And if you qualify for help, they'll get you the help. That's what we're supposed to be doing," he vowed.

A community of 1,400, Pierce City was devastated May 4 by a tornado that killed one resident, damaged 100 homes and destroyed up to 40 businesses.

Bush visited Pierce City after making a speech in Indianapolis about the economy.

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