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Mom arrives at day care seconds ahead of Oklahoma tornado

“As I look at where this building was, I still can't believe we all survived,” said Shannon Workman of the day care destroyed by Monday's Oklahoma tornado.
by Matt Patterson Modified: May 21, 2013 at 1:46 pm •  Published: May 21, 2013

Shannon Workman knew she had to get to A Step Above Learning Center, 14916 S Western Ave., and her 3-year-old son, Brendan.

She arrived seconds before Monday's tornado destroyed the day care center, while 13 students and directors Heather Walker and Abby Larsen huddled in a restroom.

“All of the sudden the room went from pitch black to light. We could see the tornado moving on and cars laying everywhere,” Workman said.

“The directors made sure the children were safe,” she said. “They were covering the children as best they could. I don't know how all of us made it out. It had to be God, because it's a miracle that we all survived. There's nothing left.”

Workman said the sound of the storm was deafening as she hurried from her car into the day care center.

“Everyone always says it's like a train, but it was something so much more impressive than that. I could feel incredible pressure in my ears.”

Workman said several children were covered in debris and were removed from what was left of the restroom. A passer-by helped them into a truck and carried them away from the school.

“It was the scariest thing I've ever experienced in my life,” she said. “As I look at where this building was, I still can't believe we all survived.”

by Matt Patterson
Matt Patterson has been with The Oklahoman since 2006. Prior to joining the news staff in 2010, Patterson worked in The Oklahoman's sports department for five years. He previously worked at The Lawton Constitution and The Edmond Sun....
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