Reality of devastation sets in for Moore residents

2:53 PM, May 22, 2013   |    comments
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MOORE, Oklahoma (NBC News) - Officials in Moore, Oklahoma say they now believe all of the victims of the storm that ripped through their community have been found.

Now the focus in the storm ravaged town turns to recovery.

As the clean-up continues so does the shock, and heartache.

Many residents are overwhelmed by the what is a seemingly endless path of destruction.

"A bomb going off doesn't do it justice because of the amount of damage," says Michale Hayes.

Seventeen miles of twisted metal and splintered wood mark the path of a storm that forecasters now say was one of the strongest on record,  an EF-5 tornado with winds topping 200 miles an hour.

The most severe loss was at Plaza Towers Elementary School, where seven young children were killed and dozens were injured.

Maria Rodriquez was there.

"All of the kids were already bent down, they were just trying to protect themselves," she recalls.

She thought about staying, but at the last minute, decided she and her kids should leave.

"I thought it was safe but then something just told me you've got to get them out, you've got to get them out, let's go," she says.

NBC News

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