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Tornado victims begin long and expensive path of recovering

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Updated: 5/22/2013 3:52 pm
(NBC News) The arduous task of recovery is underway in earnest in Moore, Oklahoma.

The community is literally picking up the pieces after Monday's devastating tornado.

The twister killed 24 people, injured more than 200 and left behind damage estimates that are expected to run into the billions.

Sifting through the remnants of his home Wednesday Rick Brown found some familiar things, but in unfamiliar places.

"My recliner that I sleep in is right under that car right now. I don't know whose car it is," Brown said.

Not very much in the battered community is where it's supposed to be anymore.

An estimated 33,000 people were affected by the storm. More than 12,000 homes were impacted.

An army of volunteers armed with rakes, shovels, and anything else they might need has moved in to lend a hand and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who traveled to Oklahoma Wednesday, promised federal help as well.

"We will be here to stay," Napolitano said. "Until this recovery is complete. You have our commitment on that."

-- Jay Gray, NBC News, reports

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