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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.