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Moore, Okla. Family Finds Grandfather Buried Alive In Rubble

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jason Allen
Jason came to North Texas after working as a reporter for four y...
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MOORE, Okla (CBS 11 NEWS) – For folks who survived the EF-5 tornado that touched down in Moore, Oklahoma, they said the devastation was worse than they remembered as they returned to their homes a day later.

“That’s our house. Everything’s gone,” said Dakota Gotcher, as she scrolled through pictures of her destroyed home on her mobile phone. “That’s the bathroom still standing. My grandpa was under everything right there.”

All that is left behind is splintered wood and shattered walls. The day before Dakota had left her grandfather there because he didn’t want to slow the family down as they rushed to a neighbor’s shelter.

“I’ve never been through a tornado. I thought it was going to be windows busted, a few doors open. And my dad looked at the shelter, he said you don’t want to go out there and he looked like he was going to cry.”

The family emerged to find their neighborhood gone. Dakota assumed her grandfather was gone with it.

“My whole family broke down in tears, ‘cause my grandpa was in the house. We thought he was dead. We thought he was gone.”

But in between their cries, they heard a cry under the bricks.

“As soon as I heard him yelling, I just ran over there, started digging. Yeah, it was crazy,” said storm survivor Elias Sanchez.

“I was surprised he was still alive. I thought I was going to find him dead or something,” said Dakota.

Dakota and her family went back into the neighborhood Tuesday, with her grandfather now recovering in the hospital, to see what else survived. It wasn’t much, some children’s toys and a few clothes, but enough she says, to get by.

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