Dad saves 9-year-old son at Oklahoma school; Moore tornado killed most of boy's class
Stephanie Ramirez, newsnet5.com
11:37 PM, May 22, 2013
7:10 AM, May 23, 2013
MOORE, Okla. - Devastated at the destruction an EF-5 tornado caused in Moore, Oklahoma, one couple was still shaken as they spoke of their son's survival.
Scott and Julie Lewis' son is one of only two students from his third grade class to make it out of Plaza Towers Elementary School alive on Monday.
"I thought Zack would be OK at that school, but I was wrong. So many children died and it was his class and his friends," Julie Lewis said.
Lewis told NewsChannel5 she was about 25 miles north of Moore at work when she saw the tornado rip through her neighborhood.
"I knew it was headed straight for them and I couldn't get ahold of them because the cell phones didn't' work," Julie Lewis said. She said the only thing she could do was pray her husband got to their 9-year-old in time.
Scott Lewis said he was about to go run an errand when he saw the storm and ran for his son. Lewis described rushing into the school and finding his son along with the other students trying to take cover.
"He was pretty upset in the school because he had them in the, you know, down on the ground cover your heads… The kids were huddled and a lot of them were scared," Scott Lewis said.
Scott Lewis said he rushed back to the storm shelter he got with the help of FEMA when the last tornado struck Moore in 1999.
When the storm passed, Scott Lewis said the first thing he saw was people running to the school to help the children.
"I don't have any words. All I can say is thank God I got him in time, you know, and thought to myself how selfish that is because there were so many kids in that hallway that you wish you could've helped, but you couldn't," Scott Lewis said.
Julie Lewis said they still haven't told their son.
"My heart just goes out to them," said Julie Lewis of the many students who lost their lives.
They also lost their home in the tornado and haven't been able to go back to salvage any items. Authorities still have the worst-hit areas blocked off as they continue to assess the damage.
Despite this, both Julie and Scott Lewis are asking the public to focus on those victims and their families.
"Just let people know we need your prayers, that'll do the most," Scott Lewis said.