Matt Lauer, first responders survey school wreckagePlay Video
8 hikers rescued as California wildfire threatens scenic coastline
Stranded Hikers Rescued From Soberanes Fire
California Wildfire Destroys Homes, Forces Thousands to Evacuate
Thousands Returning to Rubble after California 'Sand Fire'
TODAY’s Matt Lauer toured the wreckage Tuesday with authorities who described the heartbreaking initial moments first responders faced when they reported to the Plaza Towers Elementary School.
A basketball covered by branches and splintered wood. A crumpled and torn-up map of the United States. And a paperback book, its cover curled by a tornado’s rain.
The school took a direct hit from the tornado that ravaged Moore, Okla., and left few remnants of the classrooms that once inhabited it on Monday.
"They didn't know what was coming," said one officer, who's also a dad. "And you know they're terrified in the school. That's what you think about. That's what really bothers me, just looking at the devastation and thinking, 'what were the kids going through as this was happening?'"