Hunkered in 'safe room,' Oklahoma family had no idea top floors were blown away
The Wood family's dog, Roxie, stands in front of the family's destroyed home.
May 25th, 2011
03:09 PM ET

Hunkered in 'safe room,' Oklahoma family had no idea top floors were blown away

After crawling and climbing over mangled wooden debris, a couch and a water heater blocking the staircase, we made it, to what used to be the second floor of Frank Wood's home in Piedmont, Oklahoma.

"This is it," Wood said, looking out over his 12-acre lot. "We used to have a beautiful view."

Frank Wood and his two children survived a direct hit on their home by a tornado that ripped across Oklahoma on Tuesday afternoon.

The Woods' home was originally three stories tall, but the top floor is nowhere to be found. Frank Wood's pickup truck is a mangled mess, sitting in a ditch 300 yards from the driveway.

The family survived because of a "safe room" built into the garage. Frank Wood rushed into the safe room and locked it.

Roxie, the Wood family

He says the room is so fortified that he had no idea how bad the damage was until he walked out and realized the top two floors of the house had been blown off.

As the family rushed into the safe room, they weren't able to grab their dog, Roxie. After the storm passed, the kids rushed out to find the tan boxer, but she was gone.

But Wednesday morning, Frank Wood finally got some good news. An oil rig worker almost two miles away had found Roxie wandering around in a field, unscathed except for a small scratch on a front leg.

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Filed under: Oklahoma • On the Ground • Tornadoes
soundoff (143 Responses)
  1. Beni

    Who cares, whether the dog wasn't pulled into the safe room, now we know they all made it.

    May 27, 2011 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Dee

      I care, and so does anyone with a heart. Guess that's not you.

      May 27, 2011 at 6:33 am | Report abuse |
    • bill


      May 27, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • mum2gracie

      WE care.

      May 27, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Susan

    Poor doggie. She looks like she is in a state of shock when they picked her up. If the wind carried her that far, no wonder. I'm glad she is okay.

    May 27, 2011 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
  3. Wicket

    Wow, I wonder if the dog out-ran the tornado? It's doubtful that it was carried by the winds. There is way too much debris in the swirl to survive, normally. The kid didn't seem all that troubled by the loss of the dog, open-mouthed gum-chewer appeared to be putting on a show for the camera. Probably too young to understand suffering and death. Glad they got the dog back and hope they're nice to her.

    May 27, 2011 at 2:20 am | Report abuse |
    • TexasLoneStar72

      Maybe she chased after it?

      February 5, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. JackT

    From my time living in Dallas, I know that you do not have much notice when a tornado strikes. Some people posting here think otherwise. It's not like a hurricane where you have DAYS to decide where to hide.

    May 27, 2011 at 2:21 am | Report abuse |
    • twalk

      very true. u have as much notice for a tornado as you do an earthquake.

      May 27, 2011 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
  5. twalk

    u sound stupid. From your statement i think i would rather have the dog than u.

    May 27, 2011 at 2:54 am | Report abuse |
  6. Iron Dog

    The look on this dog's face is as if someone just said "Did YOU make this mess?"

    May 27, 2011 at 3:08 am | Report abuse |
  7. BobN

    If you have a saferoom and a pet, feed the pet in the saferoom for a few weeks. Never hurts to be prepared, just in case.

    May 27, 2011 at 3:55 am | Report abuse |


    May 27, 2011 at 5:22 am | Report abuse |
    • MidwstrnGrl

      Dee your the unbalanced idiot. Looking for absolution in your life is a real beeotch.

      May 27, 2011 at 6:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Compassionate

      Sometimes the best thing you can do for an animal is put it to sleep. There's nothing else the vet can do for them and they will die, but they're in so much pain that it's cruel to make them suffer. Tina, I'm so sorry for your loss.

      May 27, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. chula

    DEE you are indeed the idiot, when an animal is dieing and suffering (as mine was from a brain tumor). When there's nothing more medicine can do. the humane thing is to ease their suffering and make their death as peaceful and comfortable as possible. But according to you I guess I should have just let her scream in pain until the end.

    May 27, 2011 at 7:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Terri

      DEE must be a teenager. Otherwise he/she would not have made such an ignorant remark. Do some research, kid, before you embarrass yourself again.

      May 27, 2011 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jammie

    I'm not trying to sound cruel, but when it comes down to it, who are YOU going to save first, your dog or your wife and kids? When a tornado is coming straight for your home, you have mere minutes to do what you need to do to survive and none of us know what that family was going through in those minutes leading up to it... where's the compassion people, they all survived!!!

    May 27, 2011 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  11. Glenn

    The whole situation is just terrifying. Safe rooms need to be a mandatory item for every residence that is rebuilt as a result of tornado damage.

    May 27, 2011 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Shane

      Google You'll be glad you did.

      June 9, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Curtis

    Time to run upstairs to look at the tornado and use the video camera but not to get Roxie? Know where his priorities are.

    May 28, 2011 at 1:21 am | Report abuse |
  13. Observer1290

    Is Obama insane?

    May 30, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • I'm a Misotheist

      No, Obama is not insane. He is not a socialist communist fascist Kenyan nazi neither.

      Please take your meds and stay away from anything with the name LaRouche. It would be like having Charlie Manson lead your group therapy session.

      May 30, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  14. I'm a Misotheist

    So we should build the whole house out of whatever the safe room is made of. And we should build the whole plane out of the black box.

    I'm kidding, glad this family had a safe room and glad they survived. I hope this story inspires the construction of more such rooms.

    May 30, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Shane

    Remagen saferooms can withstand 250 MPH winds, or an F-5 on the Fujita scale. Lots of dealers in various states for Remagen, but if you go to their web site, you'll be blown away. (Not literally, of course.) Jim Waller, the man behind this product is both a scientist and structural expert.

    June 9, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
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