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Incredible story tells how rescuers found and saved 2 babies trapped in Midwest tornado debris

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Survivors of the 59 tornadoes that tore through the U.S. South and Midwest have spoken out about their harrowing experience that took place earlier this month, telling CBS News anchor Scott Pelley that rescuers discovered a baby who survived amid the wreckage.

On the night of Dec. 10, nearly 60 large tornadoes carved a path of wreckage across 10 states.

At least 90 people have died as a result of the extreme storms.

What are the details?

In a segment that aired on CBS, Pelley spoke with farmer Shawn Rickard, who recalled the moment the tornadoes ripped through his western Kentucky home.

"It sounded like 10 trains on a track, coming towards you full speed," Rickard said, noting that he and his wife evacuated their solid brick home and took refuge at a nearby church. "I guess the good Lord told us to leave and we left. He was taking care of us. I can't tell you other than that. I don't know."

Resident James Pendley said that he threw himself on top of his son in order to save him.

"I knew things were gonna start flying, so I decided that my son needed to be shielded," he recalled. "Because he's only 20. And I'm in my 50s, so I figure two choices here, him or me and I figured he'd be one that needs to make it through this. ... I've lived [life]. I've had 35 good years with [my wife], and I figured if anybody needed to make it, it was gonna be him."

Timmy Vannoy, an area resident, said he ran to his aunt and uncle's home to see if he could find them. Instead, he found nearly every house in the area of his family's home demolished.

"It's pitch black and a few of the deputies and me, we had flashlights, but that didn't help much," he said.

Vannoy, who was searching for his family with two officers, said that a noise and some movement alerted them to someone or something buried in the debris.

"We moved all the debris off the shower, and we lifted the shower up, and there was the little 15-month-old, was laying there crying, little boy," he recalled.

Alongside deputies Trent Arnold and Troy Blue, Vannoy recovered the child.

"And over to the side of it was — they had a little three-month-old that — he was up and under all the debris, laying on his — on his belly," he said.

Both babies survived.

What else?

Scientist Karen Kosiba told the outlet that it's nearly impossible to predict how intense a tornado will ultimately end up being or how long it will endure.

"We have the Gulf of Mexico, which is an ample source of moisture that helps bring in warm, moist air at low levels," she said of the United States' propensity for Midwest tornadoes. "We have the Rocky Mountains, which adds a nice cool layer up at sort of mid-levels. And what that does is that gives you an unstable atmosphere as these systems move through."

"Certainly, we know that our climate is warming," she added. "But how that actually manifests itself into tornado outbreaks or tornado intensity or tornado location is difficult to determine. There's a lotta research going on. There are indications that potentially, the tornado threat is moving farther east than it normally is, or that it might be occurring later in the year during these cool seasons, so these November, December, January, February, that that might be more prolific for tornadoes than previously."

She concluded, "There's no indication that any of these things are gonna go away. So, I think it's really what needs to be the focus is being prepared for these types of events."

The historic, devastating December 10-11 tornado outbreak www.youtube.com

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