Heartbreaking scenes in Oklahoma City area after twister

Heartbreaking scenes in Oklahoma City area after twister
Photo provided by KFOR.

POSTED: Monday, May 20, 2013 - 7:22pm

UPDATED: Monday, May 20, 2013 - 7:24pm

The enormity of Monday's Oklahoma City area tornado was heartbreaking as daylight began to slip away.

Yellow-helmeted rescue workers in Moore, Oklahoma, continued their desperate search for students and teachers at an elementary school that was almost gone.

Residents, if they could get back home, saw incredible damage in their neighborhoods, including vehicles tossed on the tops of house roofs.

Click here to view a photo gallery of images.

Even seasoned journalists struggled at times to keep their composure when they described what they were seeing.

'It was just like the movie Twister'

Lando Hite was shirtless and muddy all over as he described what happened at horse and entertainment farm in Moore.

"It was just like the movie 'Twister,' " he told CNN affiliate KFOR. "There were horses and stuff flying around everywhere."

The tornado slammed into the Orr Family Farm, which had about 80 horses. It damaged several barns; Hite was worried most of the animals were killed.

"I tried to let some of the horses out of their stalls so that they would have a chance," said the worker, who said the building he was in was moved about 100 feet.

Going through school's debris

Dozens of students and staff were at Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore when the twister struck, according to KFOR.

Students who got out said they hugged and clung to walls as the tornado passed through.

Monday evening, Workers continued to comb through the site, where only a few walls were left standing.

'The Lord took care of us'

One resident of Moore put his situation into perspective. His home was gone, as were years' worth of belongings.

But he and his wife were alive.

"The Lord took care of us," said the man, 72. "My security is not in my hands. It is in the Lord's."

-- CNN's Nick Valencia reported from Oklahoma. Phil Gast reported and wrote from Atlanta.

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