Donald Trump went to Providence Baptist Church to pay respect to the 23 people who were killed by the storm in the rural Alabama town of Beauregard.
He observed a moment of silence before white wooden crosses which stood in remembrance of each victim .
"We saw things that you wouldn't believe," Mr Trump said after visiting a section of the town where tornado winds tore houses from their foundations and uprooted trees.
At Providence Baptist Church, Mr Trump thanked law enforcement officials and other first responders and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who oversees the FEMA.
"We couldn't get here fast enough," Mr Trump said following the private church meeting.
"I wanted to come the day it happened," he said, adding that Governor Kay Ivey had asked him to wait.
(2) if you would like to pay your respects, the crosses are located in front of the Providence Baptist Church west campus. Im really looking forward to introducing you to the man behind this powerful movement & ministry @ 6pm @wsfa12newspic.twitter.com/AP89JkPd2x— Jenn Horton (@JennWSFA) March 6, 2019
Before leaving the church, Mr Trump posed for a photograph with a fifth-grader who has been volunteering there and signed the child's Bible, said Ada Ingram, a local volunteer.
Chats of "USA!" broke out as Mr Trump prepared to depart the church. He visited the nearby crosses before heading for Air Force One.
President Trump signs a Bible as he greets people at Providence Baptist Church in Alabama on Friday during a tour of the area where a tornado killed 23 people. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) pic.twitter.com/g6HvlGca6N— Dylan Stableford (@stableford) 8 March 2019
Pastor of Providence Baptist Church, Rusty Sowell, said the president's visit was uplifting and would help bring attention to a community that will need a long time to recover.
"This is a marathon, not a sprint," Mr Sowell said.
Four children and a couple in their 80s died, with 10 victims belonging to a single extended family. Several people in Georgia were injured by twisters that also extended to Florida and South Carolina, according to the National Weather Service.
President Trump is signing bibles for volunteers and survivors at a Baptist church in Alabama. pic.twitter.com/9b8VfyZiKF— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) March 8, 2019
Additional reporting from PA.
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