Freddy weaved through northbound traffic until he reached an electronics store parking lot roughly one mile from Plaza Towers. Summer and Caden went on foot, sprinting east toward the school.
“I'm not an athlete,” Summer said. “I cheered in high school 30 years ago, you know what I mean? It had to be adrenaline. It had to be.”
But when they arrived, the smiling face of her 7-year-old daughter was nowhere to be found. Summer panicked. She rushed to the nearest officer. Officials told her Addyson was picked up by her father and was back home.
But that wasn't enough. Like Michael, Summer had to know for sure. So she and Caden ran again – this time through the swampy mess that used to be a neighborhood.
It's a route Caden knows well. He's walked that path hundreds of times. But the shortcut he usually takes was impassable, filled with deep water. The only other way was to cross a small river, a large tree stretched across both banks.
They had no other choice. They had to crawl across to the other side. Caden went first, testing the trunk's strength and stability. Summer followed behind on hands and knees, wallowing in the stench of gas and mud that hung the air.
When Michael finally arrived at the church, the parking lot was packed. Teachers and volunteers darted from child to child – comforting children whose parents had yet to show up, celebrating with those who found loved ones.
But Michael didn't need any help finding his daughter. The moment he reached the parking lot was the moment he found Addyson.
“I ran through the crowd and grabbed a hold of her,” Michael said. “She said, ‘Daddy, I'm fine! I'm fine!”
When Summer finally made the long walk to SW 7th street, there was Addyson, sitting on the tailgate of her father's truck, her pink shoes swinging back and forth in the air.
The mad dash to meet each other in the middle of the barren street was the second tear-filled embrace Addyson shared that day.
“My dad said you would do this,” Addyson told Summer. “He cried, too.”
Addyson's class had been shuffled into a girls' bathroom where students and teachers rode out the tornado.
“There was water in the bathroom and everywhere,” she said. “Some people lost their shoes. Someone got hit with a light from the ceiling.
“Whoever had injuries, they got a towel or whatever they could find. I had one to wipe off my eyes, because I was crying a little. Everyone else was crying. It was making me cry.”
The Roberts' home wasn't completely demolished in the tornado, but it might as well have been. Michael could flex a brick wall on the south side of the house with a simple push. The house seems destined for demolition.
Inside, water runs from flat-screen TVs. Glass mixes with dirt and leaves covering the floor. Addyson's favorite toy, a Jessie doll from Toy Story, is water-logged and stained.
“It's all material stuff,” Michael said. “It can all be bought again.”
Windows that were blown out are now covered with plywood and a leaky roof is patched with giant McDonalds advertising tarps Michael borrowed from a friend. He's hoping a television helicopter catches it. Maybe someone will cut him a check.
For the time being, the Roberts will stay with Michael's brother in Oklahoma City. On the first night after the storm hit, Addyson shared her parents' bed.
“She was kicking the crap out of me all night, rolling over me and stuff,” Michael said. “Any other time, I'd get mad and kick her out of the room or something.”
But this time was different.
“Those kicks in the middle of the night,” Michael said. “I just loved them.”