May 16th, 2011
02:48 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama took some time on a trip to Memphis on Monday to meet privately with first responders, volunteers, and families who have been affected by the recent flooding of the Mississippi River.
Obama met with two separate families, along with members of the Memphis police and fire departments, as well as volunteers from local churches and the United Way. He was joined by the governor of Tennessee, the mayor of Memphis, and members of the Tennessee Congressional delegation.
Seated around a square table, Obama asked questions and listened to each participant speak saying he “wanted to hear first hand from you” about the impact of the floods.
Throughout the 35 minute session, Obama heard stories from families who had to evacuate their homes and move in with other family members, was briefed on how first responders monitored the rising waters and warned those in the path of the flooding, and learned about ongoing relief efforts led by faith-based volunteer organizations.
While in Memphis, Obama also spoke at the commencement ceremony for Booker T. Washington High School, this year’s winner of the administration’s ‘Race to the Top’ competition.