TODAY   |  May 21, 2013

Tornado survivor: The sound ‘was horrible’

Alfredo Corrales and Viviana Luna talk about riding out the tornado in Moore, Okla., inside an underground shelter as Corrales says the pressure from the wind “was pulling up the door” while he and a neighbor held onto the latch.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> to a family that went through this tornado, they were right there, let's bring in alfredo corales and vivien luna. tell me what you heard and what you saw and how you got into the shelter.

>> first off i was at work, we were sitting there watching the weather on my laptop on news 4 so they just said the storm was getting worse and we made an executive decision at the office to basically go to my house and get into our storm cellar and she was at home by herself so we made it just in time to get there before the tornado hit.

>> you brought co-workers and went underground.

>> yes, and all of a sudden we were hearing some voices up above and we were like what is that so i popped the door open and found there was like four or five of our neighbors asking if we can come in, i was like absolutely, come on. it was maybe not even two minutes the tornado came over and i just can't really describe what the sound was like but it was horrible and when i heard our tree snapped right next to our storm cellar , i knew we were getting hit and the pressure from the wind speeds was pulling up on the door, me and the neighbor were sitting there holding the latch down and the water was just rushing like blowing into the storm cellar.

>> you said you were holding the latch. were you afraid it was going to give?

>> yes, because the wind was just like so, i don't even know how to explain it, but so much we could just tell the door was trying to give way so me and the neighbor were holding the latch down and then finally went over and we waited another five minutes before we actually came out of the storm cellar and once we did that we were just real cautious when we were coming out, everything was just gone.

>> vivien, when you lift the storm shelter and looked around the neighborhood you had just seen moments before, what did you see?

>> i saw basically nothing. fences, there were no fences there anymore, trees were snapped in half, roofs of houses were gone, displaying everything from people's houses from even neighborhoods across the street were laying in our yards and neighbor's yards.

>> what about your yard?

>> half of the roof is torn off and the garage caved in.

>> you sprung into action and started going door to door looking for survivors. what did you find?

>> i don't even know how to explain it. we just, we pulled a bunch of people out, a lot of them were elderly people . we pulled some younger people out, too, some didn't make it, some did. or most of them did that we were involved with. like i said i haven't really had a chance to really process everything. we didn't sleep all much last night so finally once we started to be able to calm down a little bit, kept replaying everything in my head and i kicked the door in just to save this one elderly lady and her grandkids and stuff and she had just gotten inside the house when it hit. she was still in the living room . the whole living room was obliterated. i don't know how she made it but she did, thank god.

>> viviana there are tears in your eyes. you must be heartbroken.

>> it's unreal ten minutes before that everything was perfectly fine, the sun was out. it was a pretty nice day and then just out of nowhere all these storms came in and all this destruction.

>> reporter: viviana and alfredo thank you for your stories and your heroic efforts.

>> there's a whole bunch of them out there, just not me.

>> i think you saved a lot of people by letting them come into that shelter