President Barack Obama has issued a disaster declaration for Colorado,which will help areas affected by two deadly and destructive wildfires and release the much needed federal funds.
President Obama visited the affected Mountain Shadow neighborhood in Colorado which was devastated by wildfires. More than 30,000 people have been evacuated in what is now recognized as the most destructive wildfire in state history.
MSNBC reported that the President said,
“Whether it’s fires in Colorado or flooding in the northern parts of Florida, when natural disasters like this hit, America comes together. “We all recognize that there but for the grace of God go I. We’ve got to make sure that we have each others’ backs.”
President Obama spent a swift three hours in Colorado Springs, meeting only a handful of evacuees from fire-affected or threatened neighborhoods. The trip offered images of the president inspecting charred remains of a neighborhood but presented few opportunities for emotion-packed moments. Most of his time was spent with firefighters, or walking with state and local officials through evacuated neighborhoods.
The president first saw the fires and the smoky mountains as Air Force One approached Colorado Springs. His motorcade then weaved slowly through the neighborhood of Mountain Shadows, passing the wreckage of dozens of burned down homes and charred cars, including a melted Ford Taurus and a Toyota RAV-4.
The White House said Obama made the trip to get a firsthand look at the wildfire damage and to assess whether additional federal resources are necessary.
President Obama faced criticism that Friday’s trip could divert time and resources away from the firefighting effort, assertions that were rejected by White House press secretary Jay Carney.
“We are not in any way pulling resources away,” he told reporters traveling with the president. “We make sure that we don’t.”
It will be along time before Colorado fully recovers from the devastation.
News source: MSNBC