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Southeast Oklahoma City cleans up after tornado

Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry tours damaged southeast Oklahoma City while residents recount what happened when a tornado plowed through their neighborhood.

BY MICHAEL BAKER Modified: May 12, 2010 at 12:24 am •  Published: May 12, 2010

/> Reid and his wife, Robyn, could barely fit in the small closet near the center of their home.

"We couldn’t get the door shut and we saw the roof go off,” he said.

"We heard louder and louder crashes and then all of a sudden we saw light.”

Wall board is all that remained between the Reids and the destruction.

A couple of houses around the corner, Christa French, 35, rushed her 11-year-old and 9-year-old daughters into a closet.

"We just heard the windows start shattering,” French said. "I just threw the girls in the closet. I saw my closet door fly off and I just dove on my girls.”

On Tuesday, French was cleaning up and hoping her husband, John, who is in the Air Force and in South America, could catch a plane home to be with their family.

A print of dogs playing poker survived the storm, but the two family cars did not survive as well.

"I just can’t get over the garage door wrapped around the truck,” French said.

Residents recounted several incidents of damage from the storm.

Blair couldn’t find his barbecue grill or porch swing. His shed was shredded and littered across several different yards.

A tree had been blown into the middle of what was once the Reid home and a trailer chained to a tree had blown into another tree.

Scott Thiels looked for his grandfather’s World War II U.S. Marine Corps dress cap. It had hung on the wall in the home before the tornado.

National Weather Service map of preliminary tornado tracks

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