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Residents in Oklahoma begin recovery process after devastating tornado

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  • Residents in Oklahoma begin recovery process after devastating tornadoMore>>

  • Photos: Tornado damage from Oklahoma

    Photos: Tornado damage from Oklahoma

    Tuesday, May 21 2013 2:58 PM EDT2013-05-21 18:58:27 GMT
    On Tuesday FOX 7's Rudy Koski traveled to Oklahoma to see first hand the devastation that a tornado caused in the town of Moore.
    On Tuesday FOX 7's Rudy Koski traveled to Oklahoma to see first hand the devastation that a tornado caused in the town of Moore.

The National Weather Service now says Monday's tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma was at the top-of the scale--an EF-5. That would give the tornado winds from 261 to 318 miles per hour.

Tuesday was a day when this community seemed to take deep breath, a chance to take in all this damage just for a moment and then it was back to work.

As another storm rolled into Moore, Oklahoma, Larry Walton could only sit in a lawn chair next to his shattered home and watch. Meanwhile several of his relatives raced around his yard, trying to salvage and secure what they could. Walton and his wife were unable to reach their storm cellar and rode out the storm in their home. They emerged thankful to be alive, and determined to rebuild.

"This is where our heart and life is. We were the first ones to build out here," Walton said.

Just beyond his driveway, this is where the Monday twister, made its last destructive turn. It disappeared into the eastern Oklahoma sky. Despite all the damage and shattered lives, there is a deep-rooted Sooner defiance and bond that goes beyond a simple gridiron rivalry.

Members of Texas Task Force One have joined the search and recovery, along with relief efforts from other Lone Star State volunteers.

It's a painfully slow process. Spray-painted X's marks the ground that's been covered, like those on these vehicles in a shopping mall parking lot which were stacked and tossed by the storm.

Heavy equipment is being used to dig through the twisted metal. There is still hope trapped survivors may still be found. Gary Mitchusson experienced a small bit of that luck while he and some neighbors used a Jeep to pull a dead racehorse out of what's left of its house.

Roaming in his backyard was one of his donkeys. The only survivor of ten was hurt, but alive.

"Oh, it's a miracle I guess, cause the rest of them are all down. Yes, bad deal, but that's Oklahoma weather," Mitchusson said.

It's a small victory in a place where so much was lost, and where the threat of bad weather is a way of life.

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