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OK Tornadoes: Stories from the ground

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Updated: 5/21/2013 6:41 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Bentley family moved to Oklahoma City from Jacksonville two years ago.  The wild weather started affecting their lives Sunday during mom, Christie's, baby shower.  She snapped a picture of an ominous cloud starting to rotate in the sky.  Then, she and her party goers sought shelter in a nearby Walmart.

"We all hunkered down to the Walmart safe room and the hail started.  And the tornado touched down not too far from where it started circulating," said Christie Bentley.

She said another scare came Monday.  "It started out pretty small, and we could see it growing."

[SLIDESHOW: MIDWEST TORNADOES]

This time, Bentley says her family took shelter in the basement of a hospital, where her husband works as a registered nurse.  That twister eventually made it to the city of Moore, where it crushed homes and took lives. 

Bentley says her husband was called to offer medical help. "He helped out as much as he could, but it was just pure devastation."

They captured the devastation on their camera phones.  And in the middle of it all, they saw a message that has helped them focus. They spotted a plaque in the rubble that read "The most important things in life aren't things."

Bentley says it's a truth she's come to realize, as she watches her family and friends help their neighbors in need.  "Everybody is just giving what they can. Their time, their money, their clothes, their water, their food, doing everything that they can to help.  And that's really what Oklahoma is all about."
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