Cassville Families Picking Up The Pieces After Deadly Storm

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In Cassville, Missouri strong storms left one man dead, and several others injured. In one small community nearly a dozen homes lay destroyed and its residents are struggling to pick up the pieces.

It's hard for the Pendergrass family to look at their home now. An early morning storm swept through their small Cassville neighborhood. When Crystal and her husband Kevin saw the winds pick up, they ran to get their two small boys. But they couldn't reach them before the winds began rocking their home.

"It was just like you were on a weighing scale," says storm survivor Crystal Pendergrass. "This way. And it just kept going like this. And the next thing I know I'm pushing tables, refrigerators freezers whatever I had off of me."

Crystal made it out but two boys were still trapped inside. It took ten minutes to get them out of what was left of their room. Dakota was sad to see his favorite bike beyond repair, but his parents were just happy they all made it out alive.

"The only thing I was thinking when I got out of the house was where are my kids?" says Pendergrass. "Where are my, I wanted my two kids with me. And I didn't know what else I could do if I lost them."

While many here celebrated survival, and began cleaning up, they remembered their neighbor who didn't make it through the night.

"This used to be the home of the man who died , 70 year old Glenn Douglas Keeler. His neighbors tell us the winds were so strong they found Keeler and many of his belongings across the street."

Keeler's next door neighbor Frances Wiseley says he'd only moved in two weeks ago.

"It's devastating," Wiseley says. "I could not believe it. I could not believe it. And his son was telling me I guess he was sitting in his recliner because part of it's here and part of it's there."

Facing death, and dealing with loss, these Cassville residents say they'll persevere, piece by piece.

And a little bit of good news out of all this. Remember little Dakota, the boy whose bike was ruined in the storm? The Cassville police department saw just how sad he was about it and decided to bring him a brand new bike.

"What do you think of your new bike?" 5NEWS Anchor/Reporter Kumasi Aaron asked. "It's good!" Dakota Pendergrass exclaimed! "And it's fun to ride! I love it!"

"It really, it made my day seeing him light up," says Lt. Danny Boyd with the Cassville Police Department. "Cause I knew he was really liking his bike."

Dakota rode his brand new bike, even though his street was covered in storm debris. His family and friends were there to cheer him on.

The Cassville Police Department says they had a bike at the station, and they worked with the community to get new tires and have them installed.

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