It's difficult to comprehend the destruction caused by a massive tornado that tore through Moore, Okla., and the surrounding area earlier this week. As of Tuesday, there were 24 people confirmed dead, but officials expected that number to climb.
The photos of the scene were horrific. Homes flattened. Vehicles tossed around like toys. Debris scattered for miles. A hospital and at least one school destroyed. Perhaps nothing was more disturbing that the video and photos of parents arriving at the scene of the destroyed elementary school, frantically searching for their children. Most were joyfully reunited. Some were not. At least seven of the confirmed dead on?Tuesday were students.
But there were already reports of heroic acts among the area's residents. Rescuers who braved dangerous conditions following the storm to search for survivors. Neighbors who helped each other dig out from under the rubble of their homes. Teachers and school officials protecting children by using their own bodies as shields against debris. We know there will be more tales of heroism, but we also know there will be a rising death toll, and the full extent of the storm's damage has yet to be determined.
Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by the horrific storm.