President Barack Obama was headed to Moore, Oklahoma, on Sunday to tour the town that was hammered last week by a powerful tornado that killed 24 people and injured hundreds.
Obama, who departed Washington on Sunday morning, is scheduled to witness the response effort in the storm-hit corridor and meet with members of affected families in a four-hour visit to the state.
The tornado, which rated the most powerful on the five-step scale used to measure the destructive power of twisters, ripped a 17-mile (27-km) long corridor of destruction through the suburb of Oklahoma City, flattening entire blocks of homes, two schools and a hospital in some 50 minutes on May 20.
It was the most powerful of a spate of 76 twisters that touched down in 10 states from May 18 through 20, causing an estimated $2 billion to $5 billion in insured losses, according to disaster modeling company Eqecat.
Some 377 people were injured by the Moore tornado, the deadliest such windstorm to hit the United States in two years.