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Oklahoma Tornado Survivors Find Hope, Gratitude And A Wedding Ring Amidst The Rubble

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Tornado survivors in Woodward, Okla., are proving that even in the midst of devastation, the most wondrous of treasures can be found.

Over the weekend, a devastating spate of tornados tore through the Midwest, killing six and leaving hundreds homeless, The Associated Press reports.

In Woodward, where one particularly vicious twister touched down late Saturday night, the destruction has been "overwhelming," MSNBC reports.

Yet amidst the wreckage and grief, incredible stories of survival are emerging -- like that of 83-year-old Wilma Nelson who had previously escaped the state's worst tornado disaster in 1947. She survived this time by hunkering down in a closet in her guest room, News On 6 reports.

Another survivor, Emilee Neagle, told CNN that her family escaped the twister by a hair.

"We didn't take the diaper bag, we didn't take my purse…I mean, we just ran," Neagle told CNN, who added that the family dog, Ted, had been left behind in the panic.

The next day when the Neagles returned to their home, all they found was a pile of rubble -- one of 89 homes that were destroyed by the Woodward twister.

In all the wreckage, looking for their dog, Ted, and their lost possessions -- which included Neagle's beloved wedding ring -- seemed like a lost cause.

But incredibly, CNN reports that the family was reunited with Ted, who had been rescued by a little boy. Neagle's wedding ring was painstakingly found by a tornado relief volunteer in the rubble.

"I still can't believe they found that. A needle in the haystack," Neagle said. "Wow."

Though thrilled about finding her wedding ring, Neagle stressed that more than anything, she is just thankful for her family's safety.

"I've got my girls, my family, I'm fine. This can be replaced," she said.

Another Woodward woman who escaped the tornado but lost her home echoed Neagle's gratitude in this MSNBC video.

"My husband's alive, my children are fine, my grandkids are fine. I can build another house… [But] I can't build another man like that," she said, referring to her husband who had held her tightly to himself as the tornado swept through the city of 12,000.

Paul Lord, another Woodward resident whose house was leveled by the twister, said he feels fortunate just to be alive.

"We are truly blessed. God saved us, and that's what it's about," Lord told CNN, adding that he is thankful for the outpouring of support and encouragement he's received from the Woodward community.

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