Maggie: Volunteers from around the country are offering help to this decimated Oklahoma City suburb. Churches and community centers are now serving as shelters for families who lost their homes. And people from around the country are pouring in support and much-needed supplies.
Adriana Diaz, a former Channel One reporter, is on the ground in that devastated part of Oklahoma.
Adriana Diaz: Homes have been reduced to piles of debris as the area here tries to comprehend the vast destruction.
Maggie: Kati Ratliff and Rodney Penny tried to escape the twister in a bank, but they weren’t allowed inside.
Kati Ratliff: So, we went under a bridge. He got hit with some rocks and stuff but… It was the scariest thing that I have ever went through.
Adriana: The area behind me includes Briarwood Elementary School, which was badly damaged.
Ashley Bersche: The wall fell on us, and they had to get the wall off of us so to get out.
Adriana: Rescuers continue to search through the debris left in the tornado’s path as local, state and federal officials pledge their resources to Moore.
Maggie: Thanks, Adriana. And Briarwood was just one of several schools in the tornado’s path.
Briarwood was heavily damaged but, amazingly, there were no casualties.
Student: All of the desks were on top of us, and the teacher got stuck. And so, somebody had to help her because the desk was on her leg.
Maggie: As students emerged from hiding, many were shocked by what they saw.
Student: Oh my god!
Maggie: Throughout the town of Moore, teachers quickly became heroes, carrying children out of the wreckage and comforting them until parents could arrive.
Mother: Thank you! He was so brave! He was so brave!
Maggie: A mile away, at Plaza Towers Elementary, the scene was different. Some students were pulled out alive. Others were not. Here, the storm tore off the school’s roof and knocked down its walls. Several children were killed.
Governor Mary Fallin: Our hearts are just broken for the parents.
Maggie: A hospital, homes and dozens of businesses were also damaged. But in the rubble, there have still been signs of life and hope.
This elderly woman became a viral sensation…
Woman: The dog! The dog! The dog!
Maggie: …after the tiny dog she had been clinging to when the twister struck was discovered buried in debris, as the woman was being interviewed.
Woman: Well, I thought God just answered one prayer to let me be okay. He answered both of them. Because this was my second prayer.
Maggie: Maggie Rulli, Channel One News.
Woman: Poor little thing!
- Where is Tornado Alley?
- Why do tornados do terrible damage to some areas on the ground but leave other areas untouched?