(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama traveled through Ohio on Thursday in a custom-built air-conditioned bus, stopping in northeastern cities where he proclaimed he was “feeling good” after drinking beer at a restaurant in Amherst.
But Obama’s remarks in two different speeches on Thursday did not include any mention of the many people in the central and southeastern portion of the state suffering from a series of storms described as the worst to hit the state since the remnants of Hurricane Ike four years ago.
Pablo Vegas, president and CEO of American Electric Power of Ohio, told the Associated Press that the storms caused more damage than those caused in the aftermath of Ike.
About 143,000 customers were without power statewide on Thursday, with most of them AEP-Ohio customers in the Newark area in central Ohio and Athens in southeast Ohio–in the midst of a heat wave that has seen temperatures reaching triple digits.
Many of those customers have been without power since Friday, according to the power company.
As of 10 a.m. on Friday, 87,000 AEP-Ohio customers were without power, according to the company’s web site.
More storms are expected in the region, according to weather forecasts.
At his stop at James Day Park in Parma, Ohio, Obama talked about “looking after each other.”
“Now, these past three and a half years have made it tough on everybody,” Obama said.
“We saw the middle class struggling, and folks who were trying to get into the middle class — I want to say, by the way, when I talk about middle class, I’m also talking about poor folks who are doing the right thing and trying to get into the middle class,” Obama said.
“And middle class is also an attitude,” Obama said. “It’s not just about income; it’s about knowing what’s important and not measuring your success just based on your bank account.