ELMORE CITY, Okla. - Dozens of volunteers gathered in Elmore City on Saturday to help a family whose home was destroyed on Monday pick up the pieces.
"The clouds were spinning, and then it turned into a little tornado, and we were sitting there watching it, and then it went 'whoosh' and started, and we said, alright, let's get into the cellar,” said Elmore City resident Toby Thomas. "The door is shaking, and we close it, and then it's like 'boom, bang, bang.' It's really loud, and the little bin on the cellar is like 'whoosh,' like sucking up, and we come out, and it's all gone.”
It’s a feeling Thomas said is hard to describe.
"I don't know. I guess you're kind of in shock. You kind of laugh and then you cry. It's just really weird,” Thomas said.
Now, days after the EF-4 tornado ripped through Garvin County, picking up the pieces is all Thomas and his family can do.
"40 years we've lived here. I mean, my dad had stuff of when I was a little kid here,” Thomas said.
It’s stuff he said can’t be replaced.
"It's been very stressful, very rough. I'm just exhausted. I've been walking in circles figuring out what to do, what to get fixed,” Thomas said.
However, through the hardship comes support.
"Everybody's been great. We've had a lot of help, a lot of support. People have been coming and helping, giving their free time, and it's awesome,” Thomas said.
As he walks through the debris, Thomas said there is one silver lining.
"Thank God for cellars,” Thomas said.
About 50 people showed up to held Thomas and his family on Saturday.
Friends of the family have set up a support page here.