Faces And Places The Tornado Left Behind

  • Damon and Kristi Mabry and their dog, Daisy. They were both at work when the tornado struck and came home to a house destroyed and a neighborhood in chaos. Roughly 100 dogs were loose in the street and neighbors were outside their homes crying. The Mabrys have lived in Heatherwood for three years, and Damon has lived in Oklahoma his whole life.
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    Damon and Kristi Mabry and their dog, Daisy. They were both at work when the tornado struck and came home to a house destroyed and a neighborhood in chaos. Roughly 100 dogs were loose in the street and neighbors were outside their homes crying. The Mabrys have lived in Heatherwood for three years, and Damon has lived in Oklahoma his whole life.
    Katie Hayes Luke for NPR
  • Sara Hock, 11, poses for a portrait in her bedroom window. Sarah was at school during the tornado, while her father, Brian Hock, took shelter.
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    Sara Hock, 11, poses for a portrait in her bedroom window. Sarah was at school during the tornado, while her father, Brian Hock, took shelter.
    Katie Hayes Luke/for NPR
  • Brian Hock stands inside what remains of the home he shared with his wife and two daughters. They have lived in this home for nine years and aren't sure what they'll do next. They did manage to find their pet guinea pig, mortgage papers, some dishes and an expensive bottle of wine in the rubble.
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    Brian Hock stands inside what remains of the home he shared with his wife and two daughters. They have lived in this home for nine years and aren't sure what they'll do next. They did manage to find their pet guinea pig, mortgage papers, some dishes and an expensive bottle of wine in the rubble.
    Katie Hayes Luke/for NPR
  • Siblings (from left) Alan, Sylvia and Ariel Trillo. The Trillo home is one of the few in the subdivision that is still standing, although everything inside is damaged. Sylvia was amazed at the outpouring of help the community received from strangers after the tornado.
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    Siblings (from left) Alan, Sylvia and Ariel Trillo. The Trillo home is one of the few in the subdivision that is still standing, although everything inside is damaged. Sylvia was amazed at the outpouring of help the community received from strangers after the tornado.
    Katie Hayes Luke/for NPR
  • Stephanie and Scott McKinney. Stephanie credits Gary England, the chief meteorologist at KWTV-DT in Oklahoma City, for saving her husband's life: Scott fled the house after hearing England's warnings on TV. Stephanie fears that insurance won't pay out enough money. "I am scared," she says, "and they can't get back to you fast enough to tell you it's OK."
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    Stephanie and Scott McKinney. Stephanie credits Gary England, the chief meteorologist at KWTV-DT in Oklahoma City, for saving her husband's life: Scott fled the house after hearing England's warnings on TV. Stephanie fears that insurance won't pay out enough money. "I am scared," she says, "and they can't get back to you fast enough to tell you it's OK."
    Katie Hayes Luke/for NPR
  • Kenneth Wallace has lived here for 26 years and raised his children in this home, but he doesn't plan to rebuild. He is devastated by the loss, he says, and is tired of the anxiety he feels each time a tornado gets close to his home.
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    Kenneth Wallace has lived here for 26 years and raised his children in this home, but he doesn't plan to rebuild. He is devastated by the loss, he says, and is tired of the anxiety he feels each time a tornado gets close to his home.
    Katie Hayes Luke/for NPR
  • Matt Claxton is a chef at the hospital in Midwest City. He has lived with his wife in this home for nine years and in the Oklahoma City area for 32 years. They aren't sure whether they want to rebuild in this subdivision, but they're sure they will stay in the area.
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    Matt Claxton is a chef at the hospital in Midwest City. He has lived with his wife in this home for nine years and in the Oklahoma City area for 32 years. They aren't sure whether they want to rebuild in this subdivision, but they're sure they will stay in the area.
    Katie Hayes Luke/for NPR
  • Carter (who gave only his first name) with his fiancee, Bree Owens, and her daughter, Stevee, 5. Carter escaped the tornado in his storm shelter along with seven neighbors and two dogs. He said the tornado was "like a giant vacuum cleaner going over you." Amid the rubble, Owens found pictures of her great-grandparents.
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    Carter (who gave only his first name) with his fiancee, Bree Owens, and her daughter, Stevee, 5. Carter escaped the tornado in his storm shelter along with seven neighbors and two dogs. He said the tornado was "like a giant vacuum cleaner going over you." Amid the rubble, Owens found pictures of her great-grandparents.
    Katie Hayes Luke/for NPR
  • Photographs of Bree Owens' great- grandparents, unearthed from the rubble.
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    Photographs of Bree Owens' great- grandparents, unearthed from the rubble.
    Katie Hayes Luke/for NPR

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It's been four days since the tornado blazed through Moore, Okla. And while the initial shock may be abating for some, the hardest part lies ahead for people who live there. Residents of subdivisions like Heatherwood, located about a mile east of Moore, are facing piles of rubble where their houses once stood. The question on their minds — after "Why?" — is "Now what?"

Photographer Katie Hayes Luke has been on assignment for NPR this week and gathered a few portraits of people in that neighborhood.

"I'd never seen destruction like that before," she says, "so walking into a wasteland at first was kind of overwhelming. ... They all seemed kind of dazed."

What was even more surprising, she says, was "how upbeat people are." Like Damon and Kristi Mabry, who somehow couldn't seem to stop smiling. That was partly because, Luke says, over the course of their brief conversation, about five volunteer cars drove by offering assistance.

"We talked a lot about ... the outpouring of assistance they've gotten," says Luke.

Her portraits show what — or rather, who — remains in the neighborhood. And for most, amid the rubble, it's a mix of fear, disbelief and resilience.

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