KBOI talks to tornado survivor: 'It was the worst moment of my life'

KBOI talks to tornado survivor: 'It was the worst moment of my life'

MOORE, Oklahoma (KBOI) - A tornado survivor from Moore shared her story with KBOI. She moved to Oklahoma from the west a couple of years ago. Her best friend lives in Boise and led us to her.

Dena Gorbet was on her way to work when tornado sirens began going off. She turned around and went home, and her husband headed to pick their three kids up from Bryant Elementary School. But the school wouldn't let any students go.

"The alarms started going off and they wouldn't let us have our kids," she recalled, crying.

Her husband went home without their children, and the couple sat in a closet until the tornado passed.

"We were sitting in our shelter just praying," she said, "And when we heard that the tornado was going to Bryant, and that's where my kids were, it was the worst moment of my life, knowing that, they said a school was hit, an elementary school, and I knew that that tornado was going to Bryant. And all I could do was just sit in my closet and cry, knowing that it was right near me, and there was nothing I could do. Nothing."

But Bryant Elementary wasn't a school that was hit. She and her husband learned after the tornado was gone that their kids were safe.

"The second they came home, we had a big family hug. I know it sounds cheesy, but we didn't want to let go of each other for a very long time," she said.

Gorbet's home is still standing, but that's not the case for her entire neighborhood. Her house is just a block and a half from one of the spots the tornado hit.

"There's total destruction," she said, "But we haven't seen it. We can't even get that close. "We can't get over there."

Authorities are telling families who still have homes to stay inside.

Gorbet's house has power, but no water, because the city is trying to preserve it. Her family isn't showering. They use bottled water only to drink and brush their teeth.

"Most people are just tired and worn out. If not physically, emotionally," she said, "I know yesterday I was just exhausted, and that was just emotionally. I can't imagine these people that were up all night working. I felt almost sad going to bed last night, because I had a bed."

Gorbet said she and everyone she knows are staying connected and up to date with what's going on through Facebook and apps on their phones. She says her house keeps the news off of their TV, because it's just a recap of all the destruction. She's getting all of her information about local weather, conserving water and staying inside from a local news channel's app.

Gorbet said as soon as they're allowed out of the house, she and her family are going to help their neighborhood.

"I'll be heading over and seeing what I can do," she said, "I don't care if it's handing out water...whatever I can do to help."