Quapaw, Okla. residents thankful to be alive after Sunday's tornado that came with little warning

QUAPAW, Okla. -- Tonight, many people around Quapaw are thankful they are OK.

Residents in the small Oklahoma town said they had no warning Sunday’s storm was about to be as powerful as it was .

PHOTO GALLERY: Damage from April 27, 2014 tornadoes

Kenneth Lewis said the home he built his life in, may be lost.

“I was born and raised here in Quapaw. I've been here 52 years, he said. "We're fortunate we didn't get hurt."

Lewis said he heard the rain and stepped outside. The wind picked up, so he ran inside.

"I dove over here in the hallway."

Lewis said the roof of his home began to lift and glass was flying everywhere.

"I dove back over and put my head under this exercise machine here for protection."

And while the 80-year-old man ducked for cover. His wife, unable to move, sat at the kitchen table.

Monday afternoon, Kenneth's kids are helping out, thankful that their parents are alive.

Tonight, Kenneth and his wife are staying with their daughter.

Just a few blocks away, a man and woman are picking up the pieces for a second time, in a matter of years.

First, there was 2008.

"I was in the tornado in Picher," said Rick Ross.

PHOTO GALLERY: Tornado levels Picher, Oklahoma May 10, 2008

That storm destroyed his home.

"And then after I got blown away over there, I moved over here."

Monday, the place he and his wife Cheryl call home also lays in ruin.

"There was no time. It just hit. I wanted to go out to the (storm) cellar."

That’s when Rick looked outside and knew there was no time.

"And that's when I seen everything start to explode out here. So then I just shoved her down, got on top of her and that was it."

Thirty seconds, maybe 40. that's how long Rick guesses it lasted.

But it's the moment, Cheryl Ross said she will never forget.

"He offered himself so that I wouldn't be hurt." she said. "We're truly blessed."

A giant oak tree sits in their living room, uprooted, just like their lives are, again. Nonetheless the couple says they are grateful.

"We have each other. we're OK," Cheryl said. "He's a good man."

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