TODAY   |  May 21, 2013

Obama declares major disaster in Oklahoma

NBC’s Kristen Welker reports from the White House, where President Obama has been updated overnight on the devastation in Oklahoma. FEMA personnel have been dispatched to the region.

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>>> president obama has spoken by phone to the governor of oklahoma and has declared the city of moore a major disaster. kristen welker is at the white house . i understand we will hear from the president very soon.

>> reporter: that's right we'll hear from the president about 10:00 a.m . eastern time this morning, tamron, prior to addressing the nation, the president will get updated by his top advisers on the devastation in oklahoma, including his adviser to homeland security lisa monaco, his homeland security secretary janet napolitano . overnight he placed a call to the governor of oklahoma , mary fallin , to extend his condolences and also to make it clear that the federal government will put its full weight behind the recovery process. i can tell you fema crews have already been dispatched to oklahoma, including an incident management assistance team, three search and rescue teams, crews to help with telecommunications, we've been talking about how difficult it has been for cell service to be in service right now so teams to help with that, coordination centers have been set up in washington, d.c., as well as denton, texas, and there are also damage assessment teams there with ipads ready to help folks sign up for federal assistance , folks who need that assistance. we'll mobbor the president's remarks and bring them to you.

>> thank you very much.