Obama to visit storm-ravaged Alabama

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The White House says President Barack Obama will travel to the state of Alabama on Friday to view damage from the deadliest tornado outbreak in nearly 40 years and meet the families of those affected.

The Southeast has been hit by dozens of tornadoes in recent days, killing more than 200 people. The White House says Obama was briefed by emergency officials on Thursday to discuss relief efforts.

Former President George W. Bush's failure to travel to hurricane-stricken areas of the south in 2005 contributed to a downturn in his popularity.

Obama is also scheduled to travel to Florida later on Friday for the launch of space shuttle Endeavor.