National News

May 21, 2013 6:33 PM by NBC News

As many as 20,000 Oklahoma families may be displaced by Monday's tornado

(NBC News) It's been more than 24 hours since a massive tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma and only now is the scope of the disaster coming into focus for those affected and those working to assist with the recovery.

As rescue crews dug through the rubble looking for possible survivors, residents surveyed their property and gathered what belongings, if any, they could find.

The official death toll is down from last night's estimate of 51. It now stands at 24, including nine children, but officials fear that number could still rise.

"Because the devastation is so bad, it's difficult to get a handle on how many may be missing." said Craig Fugate, the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Administration.

Volunteers are going house to house to see who needs help or supplies, many like volunteer Joshua Edwards was overwhelmed by the destruction.

"It sounds cliche, but speechless" said Edwards.

"You look at it and what can you say? Everything is gone," said Matt Mangen another volunteer.

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