05/21/2013 08:30 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Moore Tornado Coverage Tries To Convey Horror Of Destruction (VIDEO)

Networks raced to Oklahoma as the horror from the Moore tornado mounted on Tuesday morning.

With a large number of victims and unbelievable devastation all around them, there was a lot for journalists to grapple with.

NBC News sent virtually its entire top-line team to Moore. "Today" had been planning a special week of coverage from fun spots around America, but instead of going to Yellowstone, the show went to Oklahoma.

"I can see only one structure that even resembles a house," a shaken Matt Lauer said as he stood in front of a massive pile of rubble. Flying over the scene in a helicopter, Natalie Morales echoed those thoughts, describing what she called "complete and utter destruction."

"NBC Nightly News" was also scheduled to air live from Oklahoma.

ABC News kept George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts in New York, sending David Muir and meteorologists Sam Champion and Ginger Zee to Moore. Zee said that she was stunned to be in the same place that had been struck so hard by a tornado in 1999. She had been taught about that tornado in her meteorological school, she added.

CBS News, which had the first evening news report from Moore, sent Norah O'Donnell and Scott Pelley to the scene. Cable news networks offered rolling coverage, with MSNBC sending the "Morning Joe" team to the site.

The country's newspapers splashed the story across their front pages. Many carried one terrible, poignant picture taken by the AP's Sue Ogrocki of a woman carrying her child away from the destruction. In a piece for the AP, Ogrocki added a note of hope:

In the 30 minutes I was outside the destroyed school, I photographed about a dozen children pulled from under the rubble.

I focused my lens each one of them. Some looked dazed. Some cried. Others seemed terrified.

But they were alive.


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May 2013 Central U.S. Tornadoes (GRAPHIC IMAGES)