Continuing Coverage of Tornado Outbreaks in North Texas

6-Year-Old Boy Sees Tornado Devastation for First Time

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    NEWSLETTERS

    As the cleanup continues in tornado-ravaged Cleburne, some people are seeing the destruction for the first time -- including 6-year-old Cole Curlee. (Published Friday, May 17, 2013)

    As the cleanup continues in tornado-ravaged Cleburne, some people are seeing the destruction for the first time -- including 6-year-old Cole Curlee.

    When the boy ran out of his house right after the tornado, his parents covered his eyes with their hands to shield him from the devastation.

    The tornado was enough trauma, they said, and they didn't want him to see the trail of destruction left behind.

    On Friday morning, the Curlee's returned to their neighborhood and Cole saw his house for the first time.

    The roof is mostly gone and nearly every room in the house has shattered glass, broken furniture and debris scattered everywhere.

    "What do you think, buddy?" asked his dad, Cody Curlee.

    "Wow," Cole Curlee said, his eyes wide with shock and bewilderment. "Yeah, it doesn't look like our house anymore."

    Cole explained how he survived the devastating EF-3 tornado.

    "I was scared and everything. [Hiding] in the bathroom, I heard it all. I thought something blew off the roof," Cole Curlee said.

    The boy then re-enacted that horrific night, climbing back into his bathtub that shielded he and his brother from flying debris.

    "I was sitting right here like this, here. And my little brother was right here," he said.

    Cole said he prayed with his parents until the tornado passed, and then he shared that prayer again.

    "God, please let this storm pass, please let us be OK."

    And everyone is OK.

    Cole and his father returned to the house Friday so that he could learn a valuable lesson -- one of perseverance.

    "We're going to get it fixed. We live in a good house. And it'll be even better when we're done with it," Cody Curlee said.

    Cole, whose family is currently staying in a hotel, said he's ready to get back to kindergarten.