Photographer on the Scene Documents the Aftermath of a Massive Tornado in Oklahoma

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Fourteen years after Oklahoma suffered the most violent tornado ever recorded in the United States, residents once again had their lives carried away on the winds of a relentless and destructive twister. This CBS News video clip interviews Nate Billings, a staff photographer for The Oklahoman newspaper who captured some poignant images at ground zero of the storm’s fury:

The pictures that Billings has made are saddening, but are nonetheless a point of relief from the day’s events – children, though terrified, are held by loving parents as they begin their grieving process over such a traumatic event. The more terrible pieces of the story were not photographed, such as at least nine children found dead at a local elementary school, as well as 15 adults (and counting) who perished in the catastrophe.

oklahoma tornado photography

An Oklahoma woman rescues kittens from the rubble after a tornado reduced the city to rubble.

The greatest accomplishment of photography throughout history has been its ability to bring the wide world directly into our hearts and homes, through newspapers, television, and the internet. Billings has a special duty in the aftermath of this tragedy, to tell the stories of those afflicted and not let them suffer in silence on the vast, empty plains where their homes used to stand. Out of all the heartbreak a few amazing stories of survival are already being shared such as the one here, take a moment to watch, it will touch your heart:

As the rescue mission continues, we hope to see more stories like the one above – of lucky people and animals who are found to survive nature’s wrath and cling to their lives among the destruction. If you’d like to help, you can donate to the Red Cross effort that has already started.

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