Out of Oklahoma City, stories of survival, heroism

As Oklahoma City residents and emergency crews continue to search for survivors in the wreckage left behind by Monday's deadly tornado, stories of survival and heroism are keeping spirits up.

One man, James Rushing, rescued his 5-year-old foster son from the wreckage of his school, Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Oklahoma, the suburb hit hardest by the twister:

Damian Britton, a student at the same school, told NBC News that he credits his brother's sixth grade teacher, Rhonda Crosswhite, with saving his life:

"We heard the sirens go off and then we all ran into the hallway," Damian said. "Some of us had a math book and some of us had our backpacks. (The sirens) went off again, and we ducked again. They went off again, and then we heard the tornado and it sounded like a train coming by, and then we were all in cover."

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Crosswhite led the students to a bathroom stall where she laid down on top of them to keep them safe.

"She was covering me and my friend Zachary,'' he said. "I told her we were fine because we were holding on to something, and then she went over to my friend Antonio and covered him, so she saved our lives.”

Other teachers did the same.

At Briarwood Elementary School, another school devastated by the twister, teachers Sheri Bittle and Cindy Lowe helped keep their students safe:

Barbara Garcia, an elderly woman who lost her home, was being interviewed by CBS News while she sorted through the rubble in search of her missing dog. As she spoke of the horrifying ordeal, a member of the camera crew spotted the dog's head poking up through the debris.

She cried for joy at the discovery he was okay.

"Well, I thought God just answered one prayer to let me be OK but he answered both of them," she said.