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President To Tour Storm Damage, Death Toll At 300

Above: The sun sets on the devasted Rosedale community on April 28, 2011 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The tornado that touched down in Tuscaloosa is estimated to have been one mile wide.

The president and first lady will meet Friday with victims of a series of powerful storms that caused a path of destruction affecting six states and killed 300 people. More than 200 of those deaths took place in Alabama alone, and the city of Tuscaloosa was especially hard-hit.

In the aftermath of a severe tornado, Kelly Giddens (R) helps University of Alabama law student Daniel Hinton remove belongings from his destroyed home in the Cedar Crest neighborhood on April 28, 2011 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
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Above: In the aftermath of a severe tornado, Kelly Giddens (R) helps University of Alabama law student Daniel Hinton remove belongings from his destroyed home in the Cedar Crest neighborhood on April 28, 2011 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley told reporters, "People's lives have just been turned upside down" by the impact of the storms. He is expected to meet with President Obama, who has designated federal aid for recovery efforts.

Amid downed trees and power lines, many remain without power, including the entire Cullman County, Alabama. Law enforcement officials have struggled to cope with the aftermath. Many roads are impassable due to the damage. The Alabama Emergency Management Agency said damage has been reported in almost half of the state's counties.

More than 30 people died in both Tennessee and Mississippi and 15 in Georgia. Several people died in Virginia, when the tornado passed through a mobile home park. Arkansas reported one fatality.

Experts say the tornado damage is on a scale not seen since April 3, 1974, when a series of tornadoes pounded the South and Midwest, killing 310 people.

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