Nightly News   |  May 23, 2013

Moore children head back to school

Days after a tornado ripped apart the town of Moore, Okla., students from the two devastated schools reunited for their final assembly that ends the school year. NBC’s Janet Shamlian reports.

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>>> in moore , oklahoma, darkened skies again today as the first funerals were held for the 24 victims of monday's tornado. ten of them children. for the survivors this is also a day to reconnect and start moving forward again. we go moore now.

>> reporter: good evening. just what they didn't need. thunderstorms and flooding putting this community on edge and shutting down clean up efforts for several hours and came on a day when students and parents are taking their first steps towards something resembling normal. the children of moore , oklahoma headed back to school today. days after the tornado ripped through two of their buildings, killing seven of their classmates.

>> we talk to each other.

>> reporter: students from the two devastated schools were sent to other schools for the final assembly, a chance for closure, to see friends, to say good-bye.

>> this will bring more impact to what happened because you're not going to see some of your friends.

>> we didn't get to say good-bye to our classes. it was good to see them.

>> reporter: also an opportunity 0 recheck and in some cases express thanks to teachers regarding what every parent cherishes the most.

>> i'll never have anything, any words, you know, to repay her for what she did. you know she threw herself on my daughter to protect her.

>> reporter: the gatherings came as moore buried the first of its 24 victims. this 9-year-old was laid to rest among seven children who died when the tornado flattened plaza towers elementary. experts say surviving students are victim traumized by what they saw on monday who they didn't see today.

>> parents need to speak honestly with their children but reassure them that there are people work, that they don't even see to make sure they are safe.

>> reporter: thunderstorms and flooding in the region made clean up almost impossible. utility crews and trash haulers were able to get out this afternoon. for a community that suffered a lifetime of heartache a child's words may have affected them.

>> i was able to see my friend and they were alive and i'm alive and i'm okay. so that's all.

>> reporter: like today officials have drastically revised downward the number of homes damaged. it's 1,200 not 1300 .

>>> bad weather is making news