(CNN) — Max Broderick remembers exactly what he did a year ago Tuesday. He ran down fences, drove through fields and over curbs to get his family out of the way of the historic tornado that tattered Moore, Oklahoma.
The dark gray monster that killed 24, including 9 children, was in his rear-view mirror, lathing a 17-mile wound into the landscape that was more than a mile wide in places.
Once it was gone, the Brodericks returned to their hometown just south of Oklahoma City.
The whirlwind — an EF5 tornado, the most destructive on the Fujita scale — had sheared houses, schools, businesses into sticks, bricks and shards that lay jumbled and jagged in the straight-line rows of their subdivision streets.
The Brodericks’ home and everything in it was gone, but something else was on Max’s mind — his neighbors who were missing.
He and other survivors ran up and down the street. “If you can hear me, call out,” he cried to anyone who might have been stuck under rubble and still alive.
The damage was so complete that when rescuers moved in, city officials raced to print new street signs to help guide them through the apocalyptic landscape.