WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Bush offered condolences to victims of violent storms and tornadoes that roared through several southern states and said he would visit stricken areas on Saturday ``with a heavy heart.''
Bush told reporters at the White House Friday that he had called the governors of Alabama and Georgia earlier Friday.
``I go down knowing full well that I'll be seeing people whose lives were turned upside down by the tornadoes. I'll do my very best to comfort them,'' the president said.
Bush will visit areas hit by a violent storm system that spawned tornadoes that struck an Alabama high school, killing eight students.
The White House said Bush would make two stops on Saturday, but his destinations were still being worked out with governors in the affected states.
The burst of tornadoes was part of a line of thunderstorms and snowstorms that stretched from Minnesota to the Gulf Coast. Authorities blamed tornadoes for the deaths of a 7-year-old girl in Missouri, 10 people in Alabama and nine in Georgia, and twisters also damaged homes in Kansas.
``I go down with a heavy heart,'' Bush said.