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Obama to tour damaged areas of tornado-ravaged Arkansas

An oak tree that has lost all its leaves and most of its branches from a tornado is pictured at sunset near Vilonia, Arkansas May 1, 2014. R
An oak tree that has lost all its leaves and most of its branches from a tornado is pictured at sunset near Vilonia, Arkansas May 1, 2014. R

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will travel to central Arkansas on Wednesday to tour communities that were hit by deadly tornadoes earlier this week, Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor said on Saturday.

The tornadoes were part of a storm system that blew through the Southern and Midwestern United States earlier this week, killing at least 35 people, including 15 in Arkansas.

Obama has already declared a major disaster in Arkansas and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts.

Pryor, who invited Obama to tour the damaged area, said 150 people in Arkansas were injured and more than 260 homes destroyed. Some of the communities hit by the tornadoes had only recently finished rebuilding from twisters that hit three years ago.

Tornadoes from the storm system also killed people in Oklahoma, Iowa, Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi.

(Writing and reporting by Bill Trott; Editing by Frances Kerry)

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