Oklahoma tornado survivors determined to stay in Moore

(CBS News) MOORE, Oka. -- One month ago, one of the strongest tornadoes on record tore through Moore, Okla., with winds that hit 210 miles an hour. Twenty-four people were killed, and the twister wiped out an area 17 miles long and more than a mile wide.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
CBS News

Jon Fisher's family has been uprooted for a month now. The F5 tornado left their home a total loss.

Fisher says the hardest part has been "not being able to give myself the time to sit down and process everything that's happened. Right now, family comes first, and getting them squared away is what's most important."

The Fishers are among 3,000 displaced people in Moore. More than 1,700 homes and buildings were damaged or destroyed.

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The city of Moore has cleared 59,000 tons of debris, but another 90,000 tons remain.

Barbara Garcia
Barbara Garcia
CBS News

Barbara Garcia's home of 45 years is rubble.

We first saw the 74-year-old three hours after the twister hit, searching for her Schnauzer, Bowser. Suddenly, there he was, in the rubble.

Her house had fallen down, but the house meant so much less to her than her dog.

"I'll take Bowser," she says. "Every time."

More than four million people have seen the CBS News reunion video online. Many have given to a fund that has raised more than $61,000 to build Garcia a new home in Moore. She had no insurance.

Watch: Barbara Garcia finds dog buried alive under rubble, below.

"Even though I've lost, I have gained so much," she says. "This has shown me how many good, good people are out there."

Jon Fisher and his wife Afton also plan to keep their family in Moore, even though it has had four major tornadoes since 1999.

"It's our home," Afton explains. "If you've seen the community and how they come together, who wouldn't want to live there?"

By August, Moore officials hope to have all the debris cleared. Then the rebuilding can really begin.

  • Mark Strassmann

    Mark Strassmann was named CBS News Transportation correspondent in August 2011. He has been a CBS News correspondent since January 2001, and is based in the Atlanta bureau.