By Steve Pickett

MOORE, Okla. (CBSDFW.COM) – Hundreds of families in Moore, Oklahoma are now without homes after a deadly tornado ripped apart much of the city on Monday. Many others are set to spend another day combing through debris in their neighborhood, to find anything that might remain from their belongings.

The vehicles and buildings have all been searched, and families are starting to come back to see exactly what damage has been done. The destruction zone is a mile wide and almost 20 miles long. And, while hundreds of people were injured, given the amount of damage this twister caused, it’s fairly incredible that only 24 people died. Nine of the victims were children.

Homes were shredded and left in mounds of rubble. The National Weather Service has determined that the tornado was an EF-5, the most powerful classification of twister. Residents on Wednesday will continue to sort through the debris to find whatever may be left to be recovered. Many things are buried underneath splintered wood and broken brick.

A 74-year-old woman was pulled out from under her home and two cars on Tuesday. “I was coming and my mom was trapped in here,” said Wesley Cordell. “She’s banged up, but she’s fine.” It took rescue workers about 90 minutes to pull her out to safety.

And just a few doors down, a mother retraced her steps, worried about her teenagers. “We couldn’t get calls out,” said Kathy Kirk, “so I kept texting friends, ‘call my kids, call my kids,’ because I didn’t know if they were okay or not.”

Similar stories of survival could be found all over Moore on Tuesday.

And, in the midst of the destruction, one tornado survivor found something in the debris that made him smile. “The movie ‘Twister.’ We just found it laying in front of our entertainment center. It looks like it got brushed up a little bit,” the man said, showing the mostly unscathed DVD case. An ironic discovery in light of a devastating situation.

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