ONSLOW COUNTY -

President Barack Obama has called the manager of a Sanford home improvement store who managed to get 100 people safely to the back of the store as a tornado ripped the roof off the building.

A press release from the White House said Obama expressed his gratitude to Lowe's store manager Michael Hollowell, who is from Onslow County, for his swift action Saturday that likely saved lives.

The release did not give any additional details on what Obama and the store manager discussed.

Hollowell has deflected praise for his actions, saying he was simply following his company's safety plans.

The tornado that ripped apart the Lowe's was one of dozens that moved across North Carolina on Saturday, killing 24 people.