BATTLEFIELD, Mo. – Powerful video from May 4, 2003, shows the start of tragedy and wreckage in the Ozarks. Fifteen tornados tore through towns like Pierce City, Stockton, and Battlefield.

“The storm sirens in Springfield started going off and I heard about tornados striking that there was serious damage in Pierce City and in Stockton,” Battlefield Mayor Debra Hickey said. She worked as a police officer when the storm hit. “I jumped in my car and I drove out here and while I was en route, there was debris falling from the heavens on my car.”

The national guard and local agencies spent weeks picking up what was left behind. The storm killed 25 people and damaged 3000 homes and businesses. In Battlefield, one person died and over 40 homes were destroyed.

“I imagined I would come home to find no house,” Hickey said. “My yard was full of pink insulation that only God knows where it came from.”

Mayor Hickey said many homes along Third Street were hit. One of the homes was Bob Obrecht’s.

“We got to the corner up there and they wouldn’t let us see it,” Obrecht said.

Obrecht was in Kansas City when the tornado touched down. He made his way back to Battlefield to find his duplex in pieces. He had to find a new place to stay.

“Part of the time I was staying uptown with my girlfriend and the rest of the time I had bought a camper and lived in it,” Obrecht said.

Now there are several homes and businesses that were rebuilt on Third Street following the tornado.

“We had some real blessings that came out of the tornado,” Hickey said. “We did get a new city hall and a new community room and a new park. Our city just continues to get better and better.”

But, there is still a part of the past that stands tall inside the city recognizing the growth the town has made.

“I called this fence our memorial to the tornado because this used to be a fenced-in concrete slab that was the home of DeLong Plumbing,” Hickey said. “Now we have the concrete slab still left. The fence went, but the gate still there.”

Mayor Hickey said it is also a miracle there was only one death.

“[The tornado] happened on a Sunday night,” Hickey said. “So many people in our community go to church. So a lot of people were in church in other towns on Sunday night. I think if the tornado had happened any other time, we would have probably had more fatalities.”