Trump visits Nashville tornado disaster areas, victims

'This is real devastation like we've never seen'

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.

Continue Reading Below

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.

Marine One, with President Donald Trump aboard, left, flies over damage after a recent tornado, Friday, March 6, 2020, taken on the plane in flight over Cookeville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

"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.

TORNADOES HIT TENNESSEE, KILLING AT LEAST 19 PEOPLE

"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."

President Donald Trump, with Tennessee first lady Maria Lee, Putnam County Mayor Randy Porter, Cookeville Mayor Ricky Shelton and Gov. Bill Lee, R-Tenn., tour damage from a recent tornado, Friday, March 6, 2020, in Cookeville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Alex Br

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."

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS

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.”

GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE