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Picking up the Pieces After the Tornado in Moore, Oklahoma

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Days after an EF5 tornado with peak winds estimated at 210 mph (340 kph), struck Moore, Oklahoma, killing 24 people, including 10 children, residents returned to what was left of their homes to salvage what they could. The tornado was the strongest in the United States in nearly two years, damaging or destroying 1,200 homes and affecting 33,000 people. Collected here are images of Moore residents, helped by their families, friends and community members, as they begin the process of picking up the pieces of their lives. [39 photos]

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Lightning from a thunderstorm strikes amid the wreckage of twisted cars and structures at Plaza Elementary School, where seven children were killed earlier in the week when a tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma, on May 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
Lightning from a thunderstorm strikes amid the wreckage of twisted cars and structures at Plaza Elementary School, where seven children were killed earlier in the week when a tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma, on May 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
Dawn Ice looks for items to salvage as she helps a friend clean up at his tornado-ravaged home, on May 23, 2013, in Moore, Oklahoma. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) #
Workers repair power lines after they were damaged by a tornado on May 23, 2013 in Moore. (Scott Olson/Getty Images) #
An aerial view of damage to neighborhoods in Moore, on May 21, 2013. (Reuters/Rick Wilking) #
A message is written on wooden boards that protect broken windows at a tornado-damaged store in Moore, on May 23, 2013. (Reuters/Rick Wilking) #
David Lee Estep sits atop a rubble pile that was once a home he shared with his parents and waits for word about his parent's welfare in Moore, on on May 23, 2013. Estep had not heard from his parents since their home collapsed on the three of them after it was hit by a tornado. Shortly after this picture was taken aid workers arrived to tell him his parents were well and they were looking for him. (Scott Olson/Getty Images) #
Volunteers help clean up the Moore Cemetery on May 22, 2013. (Brett Deering/Getty Images) #
A tornado-displaced cat and her kittens rest in a cage at an animal shelter in Moore, on May 23, 2013. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images) #
Monty Montgomery surveys the scene as he prepares to clean up a friend's tornado-ravaged home on May 23, 2013, in Moore, Oklahoma. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) #
In this aerial photo, a person, lower right, stands in front of a home demolished by Monday's tornado in Moore, on May 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) #
A man yells at the media asking them to leave after attending a memorial service for nine-year-old Antonia Candelaria at Vondel Smith Mortuary South Colonial Chapel on May 23, 2013 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Candelaria was a student at Plaza Towers Elementary School and was in class when a powerful tornado tore through the town. (Joshua Lott/AFP/Getty Images) #
A mangled car next to a destroyed tree in Moore, on May 22, 2013. (Joshua Lott/AFP/Getty Images) #
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Ben Lake passes a family photo to Elise Hopkins while searching through the debris looking for salvageable items in what is left of her home, in Moore, on May 22, 2013. (AP Photo/USAF, Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder) #
Lela Carter, 7, looks through children's books while standing around rows of items residents were donating to victims of a deadly tornado, at a church in Oklahoma City on May 23, 2013. (Reuters/Adrees Latif) #
A homeowner displays a message after his home was destroyed by a tornado, on May 23, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. (Scott Olson/Getty Images) #
Christine Jones (left) is comforted by her cousin, Ann Worden, as she talks about looking for lost wedding rings at her tornado demolished home in Moore, on May 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki) #
A woman searches for salvageable belongings at a tornado-devastated home on May 22, 2013 in Moore. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images) #
Rain falls on the wreckage of Plaza Elementary School, where seven children were killed earlier in the week when a tornado hit Moore, on May 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #
Debris litters what remains of a classroom at Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, on May 22, 2013. (Scott Olson/Getty Images) #
The wreckage of homes litters a playground adjacent to a neighborhood in Moore, on May 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #
A marquee reads "God Bless Moore" as workers make repairs to the Warren theatre after Moore was left devastated by a tornado, on May 22, 2013. (Reuters/Adrees Latif) #
Brittany Brown rushes to get aid after finding her grandmother's cat "Kitty" which was buried in tornado rubble for two days at the grandmother's destroyed home in Moore, on May 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) #
Kellie Evey works to dry photographs that were recovered from her destroyed home in Moore, on May 23, 2013. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images) #
Justin Stephan explains to his son Timothy, 3, that he can't play with a toy of his that he found in his tornado-destroyed home on 6th Avenue in Moore, on May 23, 2013. (Reuters/Rick Wilking) #
An Oklahoma T-shirt hangs in the still-standing closet of a home that was destroyed by a tornado in Moore, on May 23, 2013. (Scott Olson/Getty Images) #
An American flag is caught in a tree in Moore, two days after the Oklahoma City suburb was left devastated by a tornado, on May 22, 2013. (Reuters/Adrees Latif) #
Crissy Gregg (left) and Lauren Hogan (carrying air rifles), help their relative Jennifer Walker, not pictured, recover items from her tornado damaged home in Moore, on May 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) #
Lightning strikes during a thunderstorm as tornado survivors search for salvageable items at their devastated home in Moore, on May 23, 2013. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images) #
Jackie Watkins shows the storm shelter she and five members of her family survived the tornado in Moore, on May 22, 2013. (Brett Deering/Getty Images) #
A television journalist, her shoes covered in plastic bags, prepares to report from the suburb of Moore, Oklahoma which was left devastated by a tornado, on May 21, 2013. (Reuters/Adrees Latif) #
Jason Owen helps his mother to salvage items from her uncle's home after it was nearly destroyed by a tornado in Moore, on May 23, 2013. (Reuters/Lucas Jackson) #
Danielle Stephan holds boyfriend Thomas Layton as they pause between sifting through the remains of a family member's home one day after a tornado devastated the town Moore, on May 21, 2013. (Reuters/Adrees Latif) #
Elvia Rivera and her daughter Ericka, 14, sift through the kitchen of their tornado-damaged home looking for undamaged items to recover in Moore, on May 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) #
Hayley Hawk, 11, outside of a neighbors destroyed home in Moore, on May 22, 2013. Hawk was a student of Plaza Towers Elementary school but was picked-up by her parent before the school was damaged. (Joshua Lott/AFP/Getty Images) #
A damaged neighborhood near the Plaza Towers elementary school in Moore, on May 22, 2013. (Reuters/Rick Wilking) #
Seven crosses sit along the curb in front of what was once the home of Scott and Julie Lewis before it was destroyed by a tornado on May 23, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. The crosses were placed in memory of the seven children from Plaza Towers Elementary School who lost their lives in the tornado. As the tornado approached, Scott Lewis drove to the school and picked up his son Zack, who attended 3rd grade at Plaza Towers, and brought him to their storm shelter. Most of the children who died at the school were classmates of Zack. (Scott Olson/Getty Images) #
Jayme Sheppard carries her daughter Hope, who was enrolled in kindergarten at the storm-damaged Plaza Towers elementary school, on her shoulders as she departs a ceremonial last day of the school year at the Eastlake Elementary School in Oklahoma City, on May 23, 2013. (Reuters/Lucas Jackson) #
A neighborhood near the Plaza Towers elementary school in Moore, on May 22, 2013. (Reuters/Rick Wilking) #
Sabrina Mitchell fights back emotions as she searches for her belongings in what was the second floor bedroom of her home after it was destroyed by a tornado in Moore, Oklahoma, on May 24, 2013. (Scott Olson/Getty Images) #

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