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Family behind iconic photo talks to CNN
May 24th, 2013
01:48 PM ET

Family behind iconic photo talks to CNN

This iconic photo of the Cobb family was seen around the world and sums up many of the emotions survivors felt in the first minutes and hours after the tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma, on Monday. It shows Briarwood Elementary assistant teacher LaDonna Cobb leaving the school while her husband Steve carries their daughter Jordan in his arms. 

The Cobb family described their experience in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer Thursday. 

LaDonna, who had the afternoon off, got an alert on her cell phone about the tornado, so she and Steve went to go pick up their daughters from school. By the time they arrived, it was too late to leave, so they rode out the storm in their daughter Erin's classroom.

"We all got down on our knees and covered our heads," says Steve. "My wife was on top of Erin, my youngest daughter, covering her. There was, like, 12 or 13 other kids, and another teacher was in there with us. And so we just waited for it to hit. When it hit, it was like the walls came in, everything that was in the classroom was on top of us basically."

"They were screaming. And crying," LaDonna describes, "and we were just saying, 'It's okay, it's okay. You're going to be okay. We're here... We love you,' and they were just screaming the worst screams... We didn't think we were going to make it." 

LaDonna and Steve suffered facial injuries, but the family is otherwise okay.

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Filed under: Interviews • Oklahoma • Tornado
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Elaine

    Correct, I only saw this picture now .anyways,good their fine

    May 25, 2013 at 9:40 am |
  2. Marty

    Good Lord – seems like Oklahoma would have designed the best storm shelters in the world out of necessity! Your state, along with others in God's Bowling Alley, should spare no expense in protecting your children with adequate storm shelters, both at home and school.

    May 25, 2013 at 9:05 am |
  3. lxNay

    That is where I would want to be at a time like that, with my kids. No matter the end, I would want to be there for them. These parents were lucky compared to other parents who were separated from their families, not knowing the fate of their children.

    May 25, 2013 at 7:07 am |
  4. reply

    CNN and HLN don't report news. Thank God this family made it!

    May 25, 2013 at 12:50 am |
  5. Jerome Horowitz

    Hold those kids real close, folks.

    May 24, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
  6. StepItUp83

    Poor kids. I cant imagine how scared you all were. Thank God you were able to be there with them, to protect them. Prayers for everyones quick recovery.

    May 24, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
  7. Bob

    I didn't know this photo was famous. I've only seen it on CNN... oh wait right CNN... get it together CNN!!

    May 24, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Nellie Athome

      The photo has been on dozens of sites and was, in fact, taken by an AP photographer

      May 24, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
    • Nellie Athome

      Bob, the photo is on numerous sites and was, in fact, taken by an AP photogrpaher.

      May 27, 2013 at 3:42 am |

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