Glenn Keeler identified as Cassville, Missouri tornado victim

4:58 PM, Mar 1, 2012   |    comments
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By Kumasi Aaron

Cassville, MO (KFSM/CNN) - The tornadoes that ripped through the Midwest are blamed for at least 13 deaths.

Hundreds of homes and buildings were destroyed, and in one small Missouri community, devastated residents have begun cleaning up.

Seeing their home is hard for the Pendergrass family. An early morning storm swept through their small Cassville neighborhood.

When Crystal and her husband saw the winds pick up, they ran to get their two small boys, but they couldn't reach them before the winds began rocking their home.

"It was just like you were on a weighing scale, this way. And it just kept going like this, and the next thing I know I'm pushing tables, refrigerators freezers whatever I had off of me," said Crystal.

She made it out, but her two boys were still trapped inside. It took 10 minutes to get them out of what was left of their room.

Dakota was sad to see his favorite bike beyond repair, but his parents were just happy they all made it out alive.

"The only thing I was thinking when I got out of the house was where are my kids? Where are my, I wanted my two kids with me, and I didn't know what else I could do if I lost them you know," she said.

While many are celebrating survival and began cleaning up, they remembered their neighbor who didn't make it through the night.

Neighbors say the man who died, 70-year-old Glenn Douglas Keeler, was found, along with many of his belongings, across the street. His next door neighbor, Frances Wiseley, says he'd only moved in two weeks ago.

"It's devastating. I could not believe it. I could not believe it. And his son was telling me I guess he was sitting in his recliner because part of it's here and part of it's there," said Wiseley.

Facing death and dealing with loss, these Cassville residents say they'll persevere, piece by piece.


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