"We went from happy to homeless in a minute"

ROWLETT, Teaxs -- Texas bore the brunt of the holiday weekend storms, with at least 11 tornadoes reported.

It was pitch black when the tornado hit. This one was 550 yards wide with winds of nearly 180 miles per hour. For 13 miles, it plowed through the cities of Garland and Rowlett.

Constance Rose's home was mostly demolished -- about the only rooms untouched were the two closets where the family, including a 2-year-old granddaughter, took shelter.

"It's a miracle we got out alive," said Rose.

Nearby, Karen Swearingen also hid in a closet with her son Trevor who is deaf.

Karen Swearingen with her son who is deaf, Trevor. CBS News

"I mean it's dark, we have no electricity and I am trying comfort him," she said. "The only way I could communicate was to hold his hands, and I just kept signing 'God Save Us' with his hands and my hands...just 'God Save Us, God Save Us.'"

In Garland, eight people were killed in their cars -- vehicles went airborne, flipped by the tornado.

In Rowlett, Mike Girouard and his wife Nancy took CBS News back to his damaged home, on Sunday. While CBS News where there, part of the ceiling fell in.

"My boys grew up in this house, and everything's gone," said Nancy through sobs.

"I'm sorry baby," Mike responded, holding his wife.

Mike Girouard and his wife Nancy. CBS News

"Everything's gone," Nancy repeated.

"We went from happy to homeless in a minute," Mike said.

A family of four who lived in another home were trapped when it collapsed. Rescuers pulled them out with only minor injuries. With the help of neighbors, they're here looking for what can be salvaged.