President Trump arrived in Nashville, Tennessee, on Friday to survey the damage from the deadly tornado that hit early Tuesday morning. Tornado winds ripped through surrounding Nashville areas leaving rubble and destruction and claimed the lives of 25 people so far.
The president first took an aerial tour of the area while volunteers picked up rubble down below. After touching down, Trump walked the ruins and spoke with locals regarding physical and emotional damage.
"This is real devastation like we've never seen," Trump said. "This was about as big a tornado you can have."
Trump approved and signed a disaster declaration for tornado damages in Tennessee on Tuesday, which will make federal funding readily available for reparations. During his visit, Trump was accompanied by Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee who said the state saw an "immediate response" from FEMA.
"The [declaration] will be very helpful to the families in this community and all across Tennessee who have suffered great loss," Lee said. "It's been a painful, tragic week for our state but Tennesseans are hopeful."
Trump's visit to Cookeville, Tennessee, was the first of any sitting president. Cookeville Mayor Ricky Shelton told Trump the residents appreciate his presence and compassion which "brings hope" to their community.
"I have a message for the families of those that lost their lives, " Trump said. "We love them, they're special people. It's an incredible place, an incredible state."
Tennessee residents patiently awaited Trump’s arrival, especially parents of Donelson Christian Academy which was decimated during the storm. FOX Business’ Grady Trimble spoke to DCA parent Steve Slone about his expectations for Trump’s arrival.
“I’m sure he’s got Tennessee's back,” Slone said. “Not just our school, but the whole state that’s suffered. I’m glad he’s coming.”