Middle school best friends hid in locker room as tornado struck

(CNN) -- As recovery efforts continue in tornado-ravaged Moore, OK, amid the death and destruction has come heart-warming stories of survival. One such story is that of best friends, two middle school students who saved each other as the killer twister struck on May 20th.

As he walked through the rubble of his now-leveled school, 13-year-old Dylan Ellis was bewildered. It was the first time he had been back since the tornado struck.

Ellis remembers taking shelter in the middle school locker room -- surrounded by the cries and screams of 50 children.

"The lights went off. You can hear it hit the building, like loud. And then it comes and takes off our roof," Ellis said.

No one was killed when the tornado destroyed Highland East Middle School, but this wasn't just a miracle. Ellis likely saved the life of 12-year-old classmate Diane Lee.

"I felt like, the wind around me, the ground wasn't underneath me anymore, and he held onto my hand and jumped on top of me," Lee said.

"I see her start to go up. I jump on her, lay on her, and then grab on to the bottom of these lockers, and then once it's over, I push her out of the way and then all the debris starts to hit me," Ellis said.

"I just thought of her as my family. What would I do if they started to go up? Didn't think, just did it," Ellis said.

"Really happy or else I probably wouldn't be here," Lee said.

Already best friends, Ellis and Lee say the tragedy has brought them closer still.

Middle school is tough even without a tornado, but Ellis and Lee have ended the semester with an important lesson -- that in one's darkest hour, friendship will see you through.

The monster EF-5 tornado killed 24 and leveled parts of Moore, OK on May 20th.