Chico Family Tells Harrowing Tale of Relatives Caught in Oklahoma Tornado

POSTED: 7:06 AM May 21 2013   UPDATED: 9:03 AM May 21 2013
Chico tornado family pic
CHICO, Calif. -

The Oklahoma tornado tragedy is impacting people across the country.   In Chico, the Alarcon family desperately called and texted Monday, to check on their family in Moore, Oklahoma.

Karinne Alarcon's husband Cameron has a lot of family in Moore.  For the Alarcons, news about the devastating tornado was personal.

Karinne turned to facebook and quickly checked out posts from a cousin.

"I didn't even have to look them up I just looked at the news feed and that's all there was from him, was just saying my house is gone and  we've located everyone, we just can't find Liz," said Karinne.
 
A cousin's home was reduced to rubble like so many others.  And their Aunt Liz was missing.

"She was at home. She's got scoliosis really bad, she's wheelchair bound, so there was really nowhere she could go."

With power lines down and cellphone service spotty at best, Karinne and Cameron had difficulty getting any news.

But slowly it trickled in.  His cousin Jesse's mom and dad were at the casino so they were safe, but nobody knew where Liz was.

Eventually the Alarcons got word that Aunt Liz survived the storm.   "I think she just rode it out, as far as anybody know. but they haven't heard from her, they've only got a text message saying that she's alive."

While talking with KRCR News Channel 7 Monday night, Karinne got a phone call saying that some young cousins are enrolled at Plaza Towers Elementary School.  Several children are confirmed dead at the school.  But again, the Alarcon family was spared from the worst.
 
"I know that they were not at the school at the time and that they were at Jesse's mom's house," said Karinne.

While the Alarcon are counting their blessings, this is a day they will never forget.

"My heart was pounding. It was really sad."

Karinne says she and her husband had previously discussed moving to join their family in Moore.  But after Monday's tornado, that is now out of the question