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Local Leaders React to President's Upcoming Fresno Visit

President Barack Obama will visit Fresno for the first time Friday to address the drought.

Concerns about California's drought are bringing President Barack Obama to Fresno for the first time.

Obama will be addressing what kind of federal assistance is available to those affected.

Fresno County Supervisor Phil Larson, who is also a farmer, says the effects of the drought are widespread throughout the Central Valley, as agriculture is the area's largest industry.

That's a serious situation that's going to put a lot of people out of work, and it even takes water away from communities that totally depend on surface water," Larson says.

Central Valley leaders are reacting to the president's visit.    

"I'm very glad that the president is coming to the Central Valley for him to see first hand the devastation that our drought has had on our area," says Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims.

She says her office is working with the secret service to make sure the president's visit goes smoothly and safely.

Assemblyman Henry T. Perea (D-Fresno) says he welcomes the president's visit and wants to bring other issues to the president's attention.

"It's so critical because we have so many issues that we are dealing with--i's air quality, water quality, lack of water," Perea says.

Although Governor Jerry Brown officially declared the state to be in a drought only last month, California is in its third dry year.

Those in the Central Valley are hoping Obama will see, and understand, what they've been dealing with for many years.

"I see it. I worked on the west side all my life as a crop consultant along with my farming. So I know what it's like, and I know that it's serious," Larson says.

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