North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue says her tour of tornado-ravaged portions of her state nearly brought her to tears.
Perdue told said at a Sunday afternoon news conference in Raleigh that nothing she saw surprised her, given her experience with natural disasters.
Still, the damage is hard to bear.
Perdue says the people she talked to are grateful to be alive. They told her they plan to rebuild their homes and businesses.
The governor says President Barack Obama has pledged federal help for recovery.
The string of tornadoes that touched down across the state Saturday were the worst such storms in over two decades. At least 21 people were killed and hundreds of homes damaged.