Update: 

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — President Donald Trump has toured a neighborhood in Tennessee reduced to rubble by a tornado earlier this week and marveled at “the tremendous heart" he witnessed.

He also offered a message for survivors and those who lost family members, saying: “We love them, they're special people."

Trump assumed the role of national consoler as he traveled Friday to Tennessee.

Trump is touring hard-hit communities in Putnam County, where a tornado tore a 2-mile-long path, killing 18 people, including five children under 13.

Many more people were injured, some critically.  

Original story:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — President Donald Trump will visit disaster areas in Tennessee on Friday just days after storms that whipped across the state left 24 dead and many more injured.

Trump will be joined by Gov. Bill Lee, U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn and other top officials during his visit. The White House says Trump approved a disaster declaration Thursday, making federal funding available to those affected by the tornadoes. 

The White House hasn't specified exactly where Trump will visit. The first tornado began early Tuesday morning, creating a more than 50-mile trail of destruction. 

A second tornado then exploded through communities farther east of Nashville, causing most of the deaths.  

RELATED: "It's a vicious thing" President Trump sends prayers to Tennessee, plans to visit Friday

RELATED: Nashville musicians to hold concert for tornado relief

RELATED: Help us load up a truck of supplies for tornado victims

RELATED: Strong Together | Voices from the Putnam County Twister

RELATED: President Trump approves Tennessee disaster declaration following deadly tornado

RELATED: Family remembers father, mother and 2-year-old son lost to Cookeville tornado for their faith and love

RELATED: Remember their names | Family, friends share memories of lives lost in Putnam County tornado

RELATED: 'We lost two and God gained two' | Family remembers couple lost in Putnam County tornado

RELATED: NWS survey shows four tornadoes struck Middle Tennessee on Tuesday

RELATED: Photos land in Scott County from tornadoes 120 miles away

RELATED: Tennessee tornado victims: How to help

RELATED: Taylor Swift donates $1 million to Middle Tennessee tornado relief