May 21st, 2013
11:40 PM ET

Woman rescued from crumbled Oklahoma home

It took six people to pull Barbara Jarrell from the wreckage of her house after the tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma on Monday. She believes the rafters pinning her to the ground was fortunate because it prevented her from getting sucked out of her home by the powerful winds.

"The glasses all start breaking, popping out. My ears started popping. I felt the suction ... I heard my house just flying apart," she says. She survived the storm, but immediately after panic set in because no one could hear Jarrell screaming for help.

Even the sound of a bullhorn app on her phone couldn't be heard above the rubble. She was able to call her brother but service was going in and out.

It was a man walking by who finally stopped where Jarrell's home once stood and heard her cries. A group of people worked together to lift the beams and slide her out.

Jarrell's daughter Tiffany says her "heart stopped" when she found out what happened to her mom. It was about an hour before they were reunited.

To their relief, the women were able to find their two cats on Tuesday. Ralphie and JJ were buried in the debris, but are now safely back with their family.

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Filed under: Tornadoes • Weather
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Aerian

    I'm not an engineer, but why aren't all homes in these tornado zones all underground??! Yes it would cost more, but how many billions of dollars and especially lives could be saved by requiring builders to construct homes underground. It could be done and I think should be a government mandate. The government could help defer the cost to home buyers. They spend billions already when these disasters strike, which comes from taxpayers, every time this happens. Why aren't lives important enough to simply build underground?

    May 22, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
  2. Megan

    I'm so happy that not only did she survive, but that against all odds she was able to find her cats alive. I can't imagine losing one beloved pet in such a way, much less three! Ms. Jarrell didn't miss a beat and dug until she found every last one of her furry family members. They are lucky to be alive, and lucky to have a guardian that cares so much and did what was necessary to ensure they were found and brought to safety.

    May 22, 2013 at 4:37 am |