The massive tornado that ripped through here Monday afternoon demolished homes, splintered trees and tossed cars upside down and on top of the ruined school.
Along its path, its powerful winds even ripped up the grass.
Early on, students emerged alive from the rubble. “It was coming. It was hitting. And everybody said, ‘Put your head down! Put your head down!' But some people got hurt,” one girl said in a TV interview.
But, as the hours passed in the search, stretchers went unused, and there was no need for the ambulances.
In the neighborhood around the school, people walked around openly crying. Some adults watching the rescue effort grumbled that the school did not have an adequate storm shelter.
One man talked of finding a baby's body in the rubble near a convenience store.
There was one small bit of good news Monday night.
Near the school, Saundra Knight and her husband dug for two hours in the rubble of their ruined house and found their 4-year-old dog, Clara, alive.
Everyone nearby cheered.