TODAY   |  May 23, 2013

Okla. tornado victim: We’re ‘thankful that we’re here’

As the clean-up continues in Moore, Okla., and many residents are returning home for the first time, officials say as many as 13,000 homes were damaged and losses could total $2 billion. NBC’s Janet Shamlian reports.

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>>> the first funeral will be held today for one of the victims of monday's devastating tornado in moore , oklahoma. in moore this morning with the latest recovery efforts. good morning.

>> reporter: good morning to you. moore just can't seem to catch a break. we're in the middle of thunderstorms here right now and conditions like this are expected to last much of the day. it comes as some residents for the first time were getting into their homes to try to salvage what they could.

>> there's tons of debris.

>> reporter: new video is a jaw-dropping look at the tornado's power.

>> it's going to knock those poles down.

>> reporter: as the cleanup continues in moore , officials say as many as 13,000 homes were damaged. losses could total $2 billion.

>> we know that people are really hurting. i mean, there's a lot of recovery yet to do.

>> we're learning more about the victims, among the dead ten children, two infants. the youngest, case, he and his mom died in the 7-eleven. and best friends and third graders at plaza towers elementary along with classmate nicholas mccain.

>> he's my boy. he's a good boy.

>> oh, my gosh. it's everywhere.

>> reporter: for those who lost their homes, life is nowhere near normal.

>> how do you start over?

>> that's what i'm trying to figure out myself.

>> jason williams and his wife kat pull out soggy furniture and personal items. one pickup full at a time. for now, the couple and three boys are staying with family. 15 minutes and seemingly a world away in a home still standing with power.

>> i mean, just insulation, debris.

>> they're wearing donated clothing. their stuff is in trash bags. nothing feels like it used to. surviving on a small starter check from their insurance company .

>> really, we're thankful we're here and we just take it one step at a time.

>> their job's on hold, lives in disarray, so much unknown. can they rebuild? and where will the kids go to school in the fall?

>> reporter: and the williams family is a story of so many families who lost their home. they do have a place to stay, a roof over their head, but there's so much to do, they don't know where to start. meanwhile, president obama will tour the devastated areas on sunday. back to you.

>> thank you so much. so many of our viewers have asked what they can do to help. if you want to find out about those resources, we have a special page set up on our website, go to