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US Homeland Security Secretary Tours Tornado Damage in Southwest Missouri

The Secretary of US Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, Governor Matt Blunt, and FEMA administrators toured parts of southwest Missouri Tuesday to get a firsthand look and to begin assessing the damage. KSMU's Jana Greer was there and reports.

Now that top federal officials have toured the area and have begun to assess the damage, Governor Matt Blunt says he expects the process to go quickly.

FEMA officials won't know what kind of aid will be available until the assessment is finished, but Blunt says individual aid is a possibility.

Fourteen people were killed in Saturday's tornado in Newton County. Speaking at a press conference in Newton County, Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff says he spoke with President Bush and that he plans to provide help to the victims.

Officials will make an announcement about federal aid after the damage assessments are complete.