AssociatedPress AssociatedPress

Published on May 21, 2013

Workers raced Tuesday to complete the search for survivors and the dead in the Oklahoma City suburb where a mammoth tornado claimed 24 lives. Scientists concluded the storm was a rare and extraordinarily powerful type of twister known as an EF5. (May 21)

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Silver lining: Family digs dogs out of rubble

Kael Alford/NBC News

Leslie Hendricks, 27, and her father, Levi Hendricks Sr., 53, hold their dogs they rescued from the rubble of their house in Moore, Okla., on Tuesday.

By Miranda Leitsinger, Staff Writer, NBC News

MOORE, Okla. – In the rubble of their flattened home, under a car and in a smashed kennel, were the two remaining members of the Hendricks’ family: a pair of chihuahuas, Lola and Louie, who survived the monster tornado that struck this Oklahoma town.

Levi, his wife Alice and two of their adult children rushed to their home early Tuesday to this tornado-torn corner of Moore to find their beloved dogs. Cadaver dogs checking their neighbor’s house swooped into help.

The Hendricks had found Wiley, their doberman, and Gaby, their boxer, in the backyard earlier. They were under a pile of debris, nestled under the apparent shelter of a picnic table.

“They come out with not a scratch … they were perfectly protected,” Levi said.

But the chihuahuas were stuck inside the house when the killer twister roared through Moore. Lola and Louie were trapped.

Ed Zurga / EPA

A monster tornado hit Moore, Okla., Monday afternoon, leaving at least 24 people dead as the threat of further storms continues.

“They could hear whining and that’s how we pinpointed where they were at and started digging at that point,” Levi said, at times wiping at tears.

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