Dozens Killed as Oklahoma Tornado Devastates Suburb

By Michael B. Marois, Mike Lee and Brian K. Sullivan - 2013-05-21T08:00:13Z

Photograph by Brett Deering/Getty Images

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Blacked-Out Retailer

Uniformed soldiers and police from several agencies set up a command post in the parking lot of a blacked-out Target store. The ground was covered with broken branches and bits of houses. A late-model Dodge pickup with its windows broken out stood at the end of the parking lot.

A line of trucks, some towing lights and portable generators, sat with their engines idling on the streets leading to Plaza Towers Elementary School. Residents walked out of the area carrying belongings in rolling suitcases and cardboard boxes.

Lacey Buettner, 28, a civilian employee at Tinker Air Force Base who lives in an apartment complex in the area, watched on a TV at a friend’s house as the tornado destroyed a storage unit near her home. She was preparing to move and most of her belongings were there. She had to walk four miles or more to check on her apartment, she said.

Left, from left, Yvonne Barragar, Joe Marshall and Barbara Garcia sit in front of Barragar's destroyed house.