Officials: More than 12K Homes Destroyed in Oklahoma Tornado

6:08 PM, May 22, 2013   |    comments
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Courtesy: Getty Images

Moore, OK - The tornado that barreled through Oklahoma destroyed as many as 13,000 homes and caused an estimated $2 billion in damages, officials explained Wednesday.

Tornado victims in Oklahoma lost everything, everything but hope.

There's no limit on courage right now in Oklahoma - with all they have endured this week and the uncertainty ahead of them.

Wednesday, many tornado survivors returned home for the first time, looking for anything that might be salvageable.

"Walking down the street we couldn't even tell which house was ours actually. We had to use street numbers," explained one survivor. "Mainly it seemed like the back wall was what ripped away, my windowsill. My closet is perfectly intact, a lot of stuff on my dresser, everything just seemed to be crushed by the ceiling."

"It's just pure devastation, its really horrific, you also see amongst the rubble and amongst the devastation, families huddled together, pulling things out of the rubble, smiling the best they can," said Lt. Governor Todd Lamb.

"It's always amazing to see the resilience and the toughness of people, you know they grieve and they worry but at the end of the day, they get back up and put their lives back together again," said Representative Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma.

"There is going to be hope. There is hope because devastation doesn't last, but determination does," said Mayor Melodee Colber-Kean, Joplin, MO.

Two years ago Wednesday, Joplin was devastated by an EF-5 tornado. 162 people died and damages reached nearly $3 billion. But they're rebuilding.

WFMY News 2

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