A family in Moore, Okla., survived Monday's destructive EF-5 tornado in a storm shelter.
"They talk about the roar of a train. No it's not the roar of a train. It's a rumble that you will never forget," recalled Susan Byrd, tornado survivor.
Byrd was in a storm cellar with her family when the 210 mph twister ripped through her home.
"The door started ripping up and the turret came off," she said. "I thought the storm cellar was going to come off, so we were just huddled. The kids were screaming so loud they were little itty bitty kids."
The door held, everyone was safe, but when she got out, her house was in ruins.
"It's just devastating. You see it on TV and you know my heart's always gone out to everybody that it's happened to, and it's always broken my heart and I've always tried to help anybody else," she said. "But when I opened up that door my husband said, 'you know prepare yourself.' After we got all the debris off I came outside and I mean, we just started crying."
It took two days for Byrd to build up the courage to come back home. Her husband is cleaning up in the dining room and the rest of her family is helping out.
"We've put so much time and love into this house and it's just all gone," she said.
Her neighbor's homes are gone too. The community is flattened. Homes are wiped out and vehicles are thrown around.
People died in this neighborhood. The ones who survived are thankful.
"I just want everybody to pray for people who lost their loved ones, because at least we made it though," Byrd said.
Across the street a neighbor posted the American flag, a sign of hope and strength as the recovery process begins.
Byrd is focused on salvaging what she can. The life-long Moore, Okla., resident has lived in the house for 14 years. She doesn't know if she'll be staying.
"I was just not prepared for this," she said. "I mean we've made it through every single tornado that's ever been through and I said this is it. I'm done. I'm leaving."
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
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