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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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May 22nd, 2013
06:02 PM ET

Tornado destroyed businesses, spared owners

One look at the Camden Village strip mall, in Moore, Oklahoma, and you see not only the tornado's fury, but also its vagaries. At one end, a Chinese restaurant was torn to shreds, at the other, a pub was left virtually untouched.

"The tornado just came, I mean you can see the way it came. Dan McGuiness, which is the pub at the end, you could go in there and have a hamburger if they had electricity," said Lisa Talley, whose father owns the mall. "They didn't get touched. There were two beers still sitting on the counter, untouched."

Tally came to the mall Thursday to connect with the tenants, and direct the cleanup crews.

"There's a girl down there, working for Cheers. She lost her house yesterday. She has nothing. And she's up here helping him," said Tally. "She texted me last night ... and she said, I have no home. And I have no job."

Tally also heard storied of survival. Like the couple who owns the Chinese restaurant. They survived by hiding inside their freezer.

Next door are the remains of what was once Bodin Chiropractic. Owner Tyler Bodin came Thursday to sort through what is left, searching for the cash box and trying to secure patient files, and trying to salvage as much as he can.

"We're just going to start calling. I mean, there's a long list of patients. And we'll just do the best that we can," said Bodin.

"I just hope everybody is okay," he said, choking back tears.

Michael Morand's dream, his business, Nutrition 101, is now gone.

"We've been here the last two days ... trying to salvage what we can. Unfortunately I did not have insurance on the store. So everything I had I put into the store," said Morand, adding that he would "pick up the pieces and try to recover and move on."

Morand still seems shocked that he escaped in one piece, running as the tornado chased behind him, after hearing a dire warning on the local news.

"I was just missed being in this by about two minutes," Morand said, gesturing to the splintered remains of his business. "There's no telling what would have happened."

It is hard to imagine anyone surviving the destruction wreaked on most of the suburban strip mall. But the proprietors did survive, even if their businesses did not.

Now the hard work begins of putting things back together.

"I know my dad and his team of people, they're going to bust their tails to get this thing put back up real quick," said Tally. "Because people need to work. Not everyone can relocate, you know, pick up where they left off."

They would not have any other way, and they would not want to be anywhere else.

"I would never leave here, have you seen how amazing people are around here? It doesn't get any better than this," said Tally. "You can't live in fear."

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