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Joplin Tornado Survivor: 'I Believed I'd Die'

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Irene Constantine rode out the storm in her bathtub. Irene Constantine rode out the storm in her bathtub.
What remains of Irene's home. What remains of Irene's home.
An American flag flies among the debris in Joplin Monday. An American flag flies among the debris in Joplin Monday.
A car is mangled up in debris in Joplin, Missouri Monday. A car is mangled up in debris in Joplin, Missouri Monday.

Ashli Sims, News On 6

JOPLIN, Missouri -- Amid all of the devastation and loss after a tornado tore through Joplin, Missouri Sunday evening, there are some heroic tales of survival.

5/23/2011 Related Story: Death Toll Climbs To 116 In Joplin, Missouri Tornado

"It's all gone. It is," Irene Constantine said. "It's an experience nobody really wants to go through."

An experience she said she didn't think she would survive.

"I firmly believed I'd die when it started," she said. "I thought, ‘there's no way I can get through this.'"

Constantine rode out the storm in her bathtub, while trees were uprooted, homes were smashed to splinters and cars were crumpled like toys all around her.

"Course it sounds just like a freight train, just like they say," she said.

When the deafening roar of the wind finally died down, she heard voices.

"They was hollering for me, and then they climbed in and got me," she said.

Constantine knows she's one of the lucky ones, but the depth of her loss is just now starting to hit her.

"It's just starting to sink in," she said. "I said it looks a lot worse today than it did last night. Whether you was just in shock last night and today you're just really realizing what is here, or not here."

5/23/2011 Related Story: How To Help Joplin Residents Devastated By Sunday's Deadly Tornado

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