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. Ellis

    I've never experienced that. We get hurricanes in Florida,not tornadoes.

    May 25, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • N

      Unfortunately, tornadoes are everywhere, even here in FL. We get them out of severe thunderstorms and they spin-up during hurricanes as well. The 'hurricane' tornadoes develop, hit, and are gone so fast the weather people usually don't have time to track them.

      May 25, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • jackie

      We do get them here Ellis. My carport and screen porch were totaled by a tornado spawned from tropical storm Faye in 2008. I was lucky as some home were destroyed here. My heart goes out to the families affected by the violent weather.

      May 25, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marco

      We got two in Northern Cali this morning. Now think about that for a second. Two tornados in a state where tornados never occur.

      May 26, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Cesar

    I'm lucky I've never been through a tornado. My heart goes out to those people.

    May 25, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. J Miner

    This is why storm shelters should be required for construction in high risk zones.

    May 25, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • YDB

      Whats with people trying to mandate things on others. If you want a storm shelter get one. If you dont then dont. Its real simple.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Knucklehead

      I live in Piedmont, Ok, myself. About 6 years ago some storms went through Moore, Ok, about 30-40 miles away. I called an 800 number for FEMA that was put out on the news, and applied for a storm shelter. It worked like this: they gave you an 8 digit number, you bought the shelter, then you filled out some paperwork, and sent it to the State Emergency Management Agency. If funds were available, they would send an inspector to verify your shelter qualified, and then they sent you a check. If funds weren't available, you got no refund. But you had to pay for the shelter up front. They ended up paying for 75% of mine. And when there's an F4 or 5 taking homes off at the foundation it's the only place to be. But mandating them? I dunno....

      May 25, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew P.

      For those that argue against mandating a shelter in high-risk areas: I agree. The gov't shouldn't force you to do much of anything. But if you choose not to build a shelter, and your house gets blown away, you shouldn't get FEMA assistance either (other than basic necessities, of course). The same is true for living in an area that is on a coast, below sea level, and plagued by hurricanes (hint: starts with "N", and ends with "ew Orleans").

      May 26, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew P.

      For those that argue against mandating a shelter in high-risk areas: I agree. The gov't shouldn't force you to do much of anything. But if you choose not to build a shelter, and your house gets blown away, you shouldn't get FEMA assistance either (other than basic necessities, of course). The same is true for living in an area that is on a coast, below sea level, and plagued by hurricanes (hint: starts with "N", and ends with "ew Orleans"). Harsh, maybe, but it's reality. I live in Southern California, where we have an earthquake all the time. I'm sure the rest of the nation is sick of rebuilding our communties too..

      May 26, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Cricket

    I am so glad that the family (and pooch) made it through safe and sound.
    A nice ending to a horrible storm.

    May 25, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Taco Joe

    I hope they get to have tacos for supper. They need something good after their rough day.

    May 25, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • humanbean

      I like tacos

      May 25, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cricket

    Sorry folks,I didn't post the above. Some jerk is trying to make a fool out of me. With such Tea Party lingo, she must be a fan of Sarah Palain. If the right-wing thugs in Washington didn't have us in two outrages wars,there would immediate aide for American victims. Imagine that if you can. American aide at home. That's almost a laugh.

    May 25, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • jodi

      The war in Afghanistan began during the Clinton administration, moron.

      May 26, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dolores

      Jodi, think again. It began right after 9-11 and was started by Bush.

      May 26, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. banasy, AKA Cricket

    Fake Cricket

    My original quote:

    "I am so glad that the family (and pooch) made it through safe and sound.

    A nice ending to a horrible storm."

    What does my quote have to do with Sarah Palin?

    Nothing.

    What does my quote have to do with tea party lingo?

    Nothing.

    See a qualified therapist for your problem. Please do it soon.

    May 25, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. beknoca

    Great reunion. Now take the shock collar off the poor dog.

    May 25, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Egon88

      That collar is for the underground fencing that many people use, including some friends and pet sitting clients of mine. I actually held one in my hand and walked to the fence perimeter to see how bad it was. The collar beeps as you approach, and if you keep going, the shock, though startling, is minimal. They can't put up a fence where they are, and this collar/underground fencing is a much better alternative than chaining them up in the yard.

      May 26, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. RuffNutt

    Good post Cricket,thank you.

    May 26, 2011 at 3:15 am | Report abuse |
  10. beknoca

    Come on banasy, AKA Cricket,are you a major fan of Sarah Palin? Such lingo! Our tax dollars are vested in those dirty drones and military might. The victims of Oklahoma play second fiddle, thanks to the right-wing thugs in Washington who now have Obama in their grasp. Not even Roxie is important to them. It is just as simple as that!

    May 26, 2011 at 3:23 am | Report abuse |
  11. Sara

    Will you people please take your immature arguments somewhere else? I am friends with Frank & his kids and we are just glad thet are alive.

    May 26, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  12. Dmoody

    Why was the dog not taken into the safe room with you? You dont deserve to have the dog in your family still.

    May 26, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  13. TDilly

    Dmoody. They had seconds to get down to the safe house. The dog was outside. The father called it in, but the dog refused to come in so he ended up playing the part of Toto. That'll teach him next time. LUCKILY he remembered his way to his master's job. Had he not they would not have been reunited.

    May 26, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. BIRD

    I think all of u r sooooo funny LOL

    May 26, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ts

    Dogs are human's best friend.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
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