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Del City family remembers beloved man killed in May 3, 1999 tornado

OKLAHOMA CITY - On May 3, 1999, streets near 44th and Sooner weren't even recognizable. Cars were thrown, houses flattened, and people were searching frantically for their family members. For so many in this neighborhood, it's a time they'll never forget.

A destructive day cemented in Oklahoma’s history, and today,  News 4 talked with three women who were right in the middle of it.

"Listening and I kept hearing stuff saying coming this way. Coming this way. I kept thinking it's probably going to die out. No big deal,” Shelly Gonzales, tornado survivor said.

Shelly Gonzales, Kelley Kenney and Kelley's 6-year-old daughter quickly learned it was coming straight for their Del City home.

"They were like 'it's coming,' and we could hear it coming and as soon as we got to the hallway it was just just devastating,” Kenney said.

The sound of a jet engine over them.

"We could almost hear the cars falling out of the sky. It was that loud,” Kenney said.

"It was almost like that movie Twister where it goes (thump thump thump...thump thump thump thump) everything just slams back down. It's just completely quiet, and I opened my eyes and it's pitch dark."

Stuck in the rubble, bystanders pulled them out.

Video shot by News 4 shows Shelly frantically running with her dogs in her arms.

"I was coming here to my granny and papa's,” Gonzales said.

Her grandparents lived four doors down from her.

"There were so many people, I couldn't tell for sure this was my granny's house,” Gonzales said.

Together they dug through the debris and found her grandparents.

Unfortunately, her papa Gus Miller didn't make it. He was 76.

"You could definitely tell he put my granny in the bathtub and he had a pillow in his hand and was probably standing in front of the window is what I feel like,” she said.

And her granny sustained a collapsed lung that would never let her breathe on her own again.

Now, 20 years later their family met at a memorial down the street from that neighborhood dedicated to those whose lives were lost that fateful day.

"I don't want him ever forgotten. I don't want anything forgotten about what these people went through,” Paula Conrady, daughter of Gus and Dorothy Miller said.

Names and memories etched into the history of Del City and the people who went through so much.

A family friend built a home where Gus and Dorothy Miller once lived.

Shelly says that allows her to go back to the neighborhood with joy.

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