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VILONIA, Ark. (KTHV) - The President took some time to meet some of the people directly affected by the tornado during his visit on Wednesday.

Regardless of personal politics, the people of Vilonia genuinely appreciated him coming to witness the destruction first-hand.

"He was just real cordial, very supportive. I mean just seemed like a really nice guy," said Daniel Smith, a Vilonia resident.

Smith wasn't the only person in Faulkner County that President Obama made an impression Wednesday. In addition to meeting with survivors and their families, the President also thanked first-responders and hospital staff at Conway Regional Medical Center.

"He commented, after looking at the devastation and the things had he had seen that he feels sure that there would have been more lost if it hadn't have been for the efforts of the hospital and the EMS groups that worked together so well," said Amanda Irby, Conway Regional Medical Center ER Director.

"He was casual, it was like he was my friend," said Casey Williams, Vilonia Resident.

16-year-old Casey Williams was on the ground helping coordinate first responders in the hours after the storm and said meeting the President was something she never expected.

"The fact that the President has come down and told us 'I know you're here, we're going to help you' it's really reassuring. It makes us feel like we're not by ourselves," said Williams.

"He was a lot taller than I thought he was. No, he was a very kind gentleman, I mean all politics and everything aside he's our President, I'm so honored to have him out here showing his support for our community, it meant a lot."

But everyone in Vilonia is still acutely aware of the work that needs to be done, and the challenge that lies ahead once the President and the national news media are long gone.

"I just don't want people to lose sight of the town and we still have to rebuild. Even after all this publicity dies down we still have work to do in Vilonia, Mayflower, the surrounding areas, we still need help," said Williams.

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