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Oklahoma tornado victims search rubble for survivors

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Updated: 5/21/2013 10:05 am
MOORE, Ok. -- It looked like a scene right out of a movie.  A tornado with 200 mile per hour winds and enough power to level an entire community.

"Look at all that stuff. That's a house in the air," one man could be heard saying on video as he drove near the tornado.

Drivers captured these images on their cell phones. Storm chasers yelled last-minute warnings to people outside taking it in.

One storm chaser followed the tornado into town then got out to search for survivors. He's rattled by what he found inside what used to be a 7-Eleven.

"Got the wrecker truck in and sadly we found a man ... and a woman and a small baby," Derek said.

Tom Earson saw the tornado approaching too and as soon as it passed, he went to ground zero.

"Me and a handful of guys just decided to go and trudge through and started yelling and screaming to see if anybody would answer," he said.

It didn't take them long to spot people struggling under all the rubble.

"We were pulling houses and walls off of people. There were people crawling out from anywhere and everywhere," Earson said.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin walked through the wreckage herself.  She says they will spare no expense getting resources in to help.

"We know there are fatalities.  We don't know a number yet.  The health department and the Medical Examiner are working as fast as they can to help families identify and find their loved ones."

Moore's city manager says this community is resilient. They will recover. But right now, patience is key.

"We will recover and clean up as soon as we possibly can," Steve Vitti said.

This level of devastation is nothing new for the town of Moore. It was hit by an EF-5 tornado in 1999. That storm had the highest winds ever recorded near the earth's surface.
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