Couple shares harrowing tale of Oklahoma tornado survival




Posted on May 21, 2013 at 6:46 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 21 at 6:49 PM

MOORE, Oklahoma — So much of what I have seen in this Oklahoma City suburb is truly indescribable. There are tens of thousands of people affected by Monday's massive tornado and hundreds of tales of survival.

Yet when you add up all the destruction and then subtract the loss of life, it still doesn't compute.

We met Karen and Jerry Colbaugh on Monday as they applied for assistance. Their home — like so many we have seen — was destroyed. Demolished.

They watched it happen because they were in it.

"I was trying to open the front door... could not open the front door," Jerry said. "The next thing I know, it sucked the front door wide open and it sucked us right into the house and then buried us in the rubble."

Apart from a few scrapes and bruises, the Colbaughs are okay. Like so many others, their world was turned upside-down in an instant.

But they have their lives. Their home was insured.

What may take some time to repair are the emotional scars and frazzled nerves.

"Thank God that we are here," Karen Colbaugh said as she fought back tears. "It's scary."

"I saw our fireplace just disintegrate," Jerry Colbaugh recalled. "Saw the fireplace just disintegrate right in front of us, toppled over as I was going down. It just wrapped us up in debris and then laid us down."