Diane Sawyer spoke with the family at the center of an iconic image from Moore, Oklahoma — a photo that was featured on the cover of The Oklahoman on Tuesday.
The Cobb family – Steve, LaDonna, and their 9 year daughter Jordan – shared their story for the first time in an interview that aired Tuesday, May 21 on a special edition of “ABC World News with Diane Sawyer.”
Steve Cobb: I just tried to be the best dad that I could at that time and I wanted her to feel like she was safe and that we were all going to be okay. I wished I could have split myself into two and stayed there and try to kind of help out some of those other kids because I can imagine how they were feeling at that time, when their parents weren’t there, they’re kind of wandering around. It’s like you’re in a movie and it’s like everybody’s playing a part and we’re all acting or something like that – it’s just not – it doesn’t seem real to you that this is occurring.
Diane Sawyer: And Jordan -
Jordan Cobb: Yes?
Diane Sawyer: How long did that tornado seem to last for you?
Jordan Cobb: Forever. It seemed like it was an hour. Like, it was crazy, I mean, I can’t even believe we survived that.
LaDonna Cobb: I was just grabbing onto whatever I could. Once the roof lifted off the building I felt myself being sucked and I knew that if I was taken, then all the little babies underneath me would be gone too, and so I just held on. I held on for dear life until the wall fell on top of me and knocked me out.
I couldn’t leave the other kids. They all are special to me and I couldn’t leave them and I wanted my family to be safe but I also wanted everyone else’s family to be safe too.
Diane Sawyer: What was the hardest moment for you, Jordan?
Jordan Cobb: Just – when I tried to get up, I tried to move the bricks off of my leg and it hurt so much and I was like, and the tornado had not left yet, I was just screaming help my leg my leg and no one could hear me.
Diane Sawyer: Because it was so loud?
Jordan Cobb: Yeah.
Diane Sawyer: and what’s the most important thing about family to you?
Jordan Cobb: That we’re always there for each other, that we love each other, would take care of each other. And that we believe in each other no matter what.