Warren native and family survive Moore, OK tornado
6:20 PM, May 22, 2013
(WXYZ) - Rebekah Lara and her family are back at what's left of their Moore, Oklahoma home. Their house is still standing, but it is severely damaged.
"The windows are blown out. Our roof was lifted up and then set back down - it's about 6 inches off," says Lara.
Lara, who was born and raised in Warren, MI, moved to Moore two years ago because of her husband's job. Monday afternoon, he was out of town, but she'd been hearing about the storm warnings all day.
"We had a game plan with a neighbor who has a storm cellar. I went to pick up the kids, I went to the school around 2:15 .. got animals in the crate. The sirens started and we got in the storm cellar," says Lara.
Lara and her 3 kids, along with her neighbor and 8 other children, were in the storm cellar together. Fifteen minutes later, the tornado plowed through town.
"You could feel the rumble. It sounded like a tractor. Then it sounded like an airplane landing on top of it . We just sat there and prayed," she says.
Lara says they waited for at least an hour and a half before help arrived.
"People came running and helped us get out. There were things on top of the cellar door, like debris and a swing set," she says.
When they got out of the storm cellar, Lara couldn't believe her eyes.
"It looked like a war zone. It was crazy to see all the debris. Houses across the street were leveled," she says.
Lara says she and her family are grateful to be alive. She says their next home will have a storm cellar of its own.
"I definitely think having a plan and a storm cellar saved our lives," she says.