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President Obama Meets Washington Mudslide Survivors, Says "We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes"

The March 22 mudslide killed at least 41 people in a tiny community about an hour northeast of Seattle.

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President Obama got an aerial tour Tuesday of the devastating Washington state landslide that struck the small town of Oso one month ago.


Marine One, carrying President Barack Obama, takes an aerial tour of Oso, Wash., on Tuesday.

The March 22 mudslide buried dozens of homes and killed at least 41 people in a community about an hour northeast of Seattle.


An aerial view seen from a helicopter traveling behind Marine One shows the aftermath of the mudslide.

While the president flew overhead Tuesday, rescuers continued the search below for two people still missing.


The shadow of Air Force One, with President Barack Obama aboard, is seen on a cloud while en route to Oso, Wash., on Tuesday.


On the ground, the president was greeted by local officials who have been helping with recovery efforts. Earlier this month, Obama declared a major disaster had occurred in the state, making it eligible for federal financial aid.


President Barack Obama shakes hands with Snohomish County Executive John Lovick upon his arrival.

Residents lined the road to Oso waving American flags to welcome the president.


Cyrus Bradley, 5, holds flags as his sister, Morgan, 11, (right) and their friend David Forslof, 10, (left) hold a larger one while watching President Obama's motorcade drive past.

Obama then met privately with families of the victims and first responders at a community chapel in the small town.


Security personnel look out from atop the Oso, Wash., fire station as President Obama visits with emergency responders inside.

"The families that I met with showed incredible strength and grace through unimaginable pain and difficulty," Obama said at a fire station after the meetings.


President Obama speaks to first responders, recovery workers and community members at the Oso Fire Department.


The president spoke against a backdrop of firefighter helmets, jackets, and homemade signs in the small brick firehouse.

The Seattle Times / AP

Firefighters' helmets and jackets are seen under a large banner inside the Oso Fire Department.

"The whole country's thinking about you, and we're going to make sure that we're there every step of the way as we go through the grieving, the mourning, the recovery," he said.


President Obama greets responders recovery workers and community members at the Oso Fire Department.

“We’re not going anywhere, we’ll be here as long as it takes," Obama said.


President Obama embraces Jon Lovick, Snohomish County Executive, after speaking to first responders, recovery workers, and community members at the Oso Fire Department.

Watch video of President Obama's speech from Oso.

View this video on YouTube

Jon Passantino is the Los Angeles bureau chief for BuzzFeed News.

Contact Jon Passantino at

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