The tornado that devastated Moore, Okla., Monday destroyed some 12,000 homes, according to Oklahoma City Police. And for one family, it was the second house they've lost to a tornado in the past 14 years. Rena and Paul Phillips say that the recent loss won't make them move.
The Phillipses told their story to Rachel Hubbard of Oklahoma member station KOSU, who reports on how they're coping with the loss — and the search for belongings in the rubble of their home — for Thursday's All Things Considered.
All that's left standing at Kiaya Roper's house in Moore, Okla., is the bathroom. When a tornado struck the town on Monday, Roper was at work at Central Elementary School, her children were at school and her husband managed to ride out the storm by hunkering down in that bathroom.
"God put his hand down on his head for me," Roper says.
There's no room at the inn for the Degmans. Not the Days Inn, anyway.
Jim and Marilyn Degman didn't suffer significant damage to their home in Monday's storm, but they lost power and decided to seek shelter elsewhere. They tried two other places before they found a La Quinta Inn & Suites that would admit Angel Baby, their toy poodle.
"I think she's a little more traumatized than we are, because of her routine," Jim says. "She can't go to her home."
Brian Hock was standing Wednesday evening in what used to be his home but is now 2,000 square feet of nothing. Still resting in a bag of dog food was the cup he uses to scoop kibble, emblazoned with the slogan "Fear not: God's love shines bright."
Hock was at work Monday when the tornado smashed his house in the Heatherwood subdivision of Moore, Okla. He says his daughters survived only because neighbors invited them to share a custom shelter.