Nightly News   |  May 21, 2013

‘It was my home. And now it’s gone’

On the 700 block of South Avery Drive, residents showed NBC’s Anne Thompson the destruction that toppled their neighborhood. Still in shock, they are vowing to rebuild – this time, with a shelter in place.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> you go street to street in this community, and many people have made the point that they want to get street signs up so people know where home is, so people can find what's left of their driveway, that's often all they have to show for their address. earlier today nbc news correspondent anne thompson looked at just one hard-hit street in this hard-hit town.

>> reporter: on the 700 block of south avery drive , they're trying to figure out how to pick up the pieces when almost nothing is left.

>> hey, there's my cameo. i can't lose that.

>> reporter: here some homes are now treacherous landscapes. shirley mccartney took me into what's left of her bedroom where she found two crosses unharmed by the deadly tornado. and they were still on the wall?

>> they were still on the wall.

>> reporter: what does that tell you?

>> god protected us.

>> reporter: in the backyard, they broke downp. tears of depair over the destruction and joy that her mother-in-law survived.

>> came over here, parked three blocks away. ran to the house. and she came running to us. she was fine. but everything's gone.

>> reporter: next door tara miller tried to remember what was.

>> that was my front door. i mean --

>> reporter: three bedrooms, two baths, her stake in the world. a place to raise her three sons.

>> it was a beautiful home. it was a brick house . it was my home. and now it is gone.

>> reporter: miller and her boys were watching local news and drove away just minutes before the twister hit. is this your truck?

>> no, that's my neighbor's truck. and that's my neighbor's car. and that car is one of the neighbor's cars somewhere down here.

>> reporter: today like so many others here, miller is still in shock but vowing to rebuild. this time with a shelter.

>> oklahoma's always been home, and i mean, yeah, i'm in tornado alley . this is the first -- in 40 years of my life i never saw a tornado until yesterday. and i never want to see one again now because no one should go through this.

>> reporter: on avery drive , life's been stripped to its essentials.

>> we sat down at dinner last night. i looked at my mother-in-law and i told her that i loved her. and we all started crying because we're together and that's all that matters.

>> reporter: tonight in this city of 55,000 people, there are 14,000 customers in moore without power. brian, curfew remains in effect for people's safety and to prevent looting.

>> anne thompson , thanks for being