As a massive tornado bore down on Oklahoma City, Julie Jones and several neighbors in the suburb of Moore rushed to their cars and fled south.
"This one was a monster. It was huge, dark and scary," said Jones, 54. "It was just this big, dark menacing act of nature coming toward you."
The twister, which packed 200-mph winds, leveled neighborhoods and smashed into the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore. Officials said the death toll stands at 51, including several children, and was likely to rise. At least 120 people were hospitalized.
Jones and her neighbors weren't the only ones fleeing by car: They ran into a traffic jam.
"It was crazy. We could see the tornado in the rear-view mirror getting closer, closer and closer, and we’re stopped in traffic," said Jones, an associate professor of journalism at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. "Traffic finally moved and everybody was going east, but a small group of us made a right turn and headed south."