"It's a sad situation," said Abee Zarkeshan, 58, whose house was destroyed on the east side of this large city block and who isn't sure he'll rebuild. "I'll be honest with you, I'm not going to trust this area anymore. I'm really not going to trust it."
Zarkeshan came to the United States in the '70s from Iran and lives on the same road as his best friend, who also emigrated from that country. Their daughters, Mahshied and Laila, both 13, dug through the rubble of their homes on Tuesday evening. Mahshied was looking for her lip gloss collection. Laila, wearing a Superman T-shirt, helped.
"I'm kind of a goo hoarder," said Mahshied. "I like anything that's a goo that's girly."
They found only one stick of lip gloss, and it was missing its cap.
No one wants dirt on his or her lips, so Mahshied planned to throw it out.
The square-mile block near 149-at-May turned into a high-stakes game of scavenger hunt on Tuesday and Wednesday, with residents picking through what was left of their homes and looking for weirdly specific items. Some people had lived through both storms. Others moved here after the tornado in 1999.
Amy Richeson, 25 never thought too much about the previous tornado. She and her parents moved in after the 1999 disaster. But, even as a little girl, she was always first to jump into a closet during a tornado watch or warning.
So the family built a safe room in their house here. They didn't want to take any chances. The room has walls that are as thick as a small person's hips. It has three locks and is part of the foundation, she said.
Richeson was one of several residents who helped me see the beauty of this place before the storm. Located on the outskirts of the city, 149-at-May had horses, goats and at least one donkey; it had tree-lined driveways and several acres per home. Pockets of neighbors knew each other well; others said the only good thing to come out of this week's tornadoes is that it forced them to walk around and talk to each other. Everyone seemed to be outside helping someone else -- a trained and awesome response in a place that, from tornadoes to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, has seen so much tragedy, so many neighbors in need of assistance.
"Minus the tornadoes, it's just perfect for us out here," she said.
Kay Taylor, 63, lives two houses over from Richeson and next door to her aunt, Davis, the 94-year-old who lived through the first twister in her barn.
A lively woman with short-cropped white hair, a baggy T-shirt and jean shorts, Taylor is an obsessive collector of just about anything. She was moved to tears when about a dozen people from the school where she once worked as a counselor showed up at the site of her home to help her sift through the mess.
They dug out $650 worth of pennies, a collection of gumball machines, ladybug figurines, DVDs, furniture and books, including one titled "When God Doesn't Make Sense," which was at the top of a pile.
"This is Tornado Alley," she said. "So I guess this is just part of one of the alleys."
On the afternoon of the tornado, Taylor and her aunt and four other neighbors, including a woman nine months pregnant, hid in the storm shelter Davis built after the 1999 storm. They were safe in that small hole underground, which Taylor said filled with small flakes of debris floating in the air, almost like confetti.
It was there that their ears popped and the world got so loud it was silent.
They emerged from the cellar to find their community changed. Taylor started looking for her two Labradors; one was injured and bleeding and the other missing. She still hadn't found the dog, a chubby blonde lab named Gracie, on Wednesday.
"It quit raining. It was just really eerie," she said. "Really dead."
For Davis, the 94-year-old, it was the second time she would emerge to that scene.
I would never blame a person for wanting to move away from the 149-at-May area after one storm, much less two. It's hard to say how you would react until you live through such a tragedy, but as I talked to residents here, I kept thinking that I probably would want to get away from this place -- from the haunting images of destruction. One man's driveway was stained with blood from a dead horse. Trees were stripped to their bark, or toppled. It will take a long time to get back to normal.
Moving seems like the rational response to so much destruction, to having your life crumpled and twisted not once but two times.
But, wearing the same clothes she was in when the storm hit two days before, which a friend had washed and pressed, Davis told me she wants to rebuild, even at 94.
"I may live another year, who knows?" she said, laughing.
She has the shelter she built in response to the first tragedy to thank for that.
And so do five of her neighbors.