05/21/2013 01:36 pm ET Updated May 21, 2013

Moore Tornado Pictures Show 'Complete Devastation'

WASHINGTON -- A day after a powerful tornado swept through Moore, Okla., residents are surveying the damage and trying to piece their lives back together.

Jenae James saw much of her neighborhood destroyed by the tornado.

"My house thankfully is still standing. Just minor roof damage and fence damage and a random blanket in a tree," she said in an email to The Huffington Post. "My neighborhood, Madison Place, and the one next to it are pretty much gone. I honestly don't know how people are doing. Everyone left. There is no power or water, and it smells like gas and feces."

We asked James and other HuffPost readers living nearby to send us their pictures and stories. You can see more of their photos below (story continues after slideshow):

Readers' Oklahoma Tornado Photos

Whitney Lindsey saw similar damage. "My home is in Moore (untouched aside from debris, thank the Lord), and we took shelter at a friend's tornado shelter," she wrote. "There is complete devastation. I have never seen anything like it. All roads around the destruction have been blocked off, but you can see the damage for miles. Just flat as can be. I can't believe it. Everything is gone."

Dean Lowe is from nearby Tuttle, but he was in town to watch the new Star Trek movie when the tornado hit.

“By the time they released us, we walked outside to apocalypse,” he said. “I have never seen anything like it in my entire life. Everything around the theater was flat. The parking lot was empty. Mine was one of four cars that actually survived being thrown out on I-35. One of the doctors’ offices was actually leveled by several cars.”

Patients who’d been evacuated from the Moore Medical Center across the street were outside as well, Lowe said.

“Nobody else was taking charge, so I basically just sent people [from the hospital] over to the theater,” he said. “People were just standing there crying, and I directed them over to the theater, telling them, ‘It’s the only thing left. Go there.’”

Gabe Pitman, a doctor in south Oklahoma City, was on the scene in Moore as well, assisting with triage setup outside the hospital.

“I helped some hurt people, including a poor kindergartener who was really beat up,” Pitman said in an email. “He was in one of the schools that was hit ... I think he will be OK. I've never seen anything like it down there. It is devastating.”

Residents of neighboring communities also scrambled to help.

Brady Williams, from Norman, Okla., drove south to witness the tornado’s damage and assist with rescue efforts.

“We soon found ourselves in a neighborhood that was absolutely devastated by this tornado. Nearly every single house was turned into a pile of rubble as far as the eye could see," he wrote.

Williams joined neighbors who were digging through the remains of a house owned by an elderly couple. Their daughter feared they had been inside when the building collapsed.

"We dug through the rubble and yelled their names, but we heard no response," he wrote. "Someone actually found their dog, and so we tried placing the dog in the rubble so that he could sniff them out. Unfortunately, this didn't work. We covered the entire house and after a long time of digging, we simply had to move on to other things, hoping that the elderly couple were not in that house. ... Overall it was just an unbelievable experience. A lot of work needs to be done here in order to rebuild."

HuffPost Readers: If you or anyone you know has been affected by the tornados in Oklahoma, we want to hear from you about what's happening there. Send your stories, eyewitness accounts, photos, videos, and anything else you want to share here. Include a phone number if you'd like to be interviewed. Let us know if you want to remain anonymous.