By Matt Pearce
6:31 PM EDT, May 24, 2013
OKLAHOMA CITY -- "Welcome to my home," Olga Cordero said, and walked into her roofless living room.
It was Friday morning. When they last saw their home, there had been a pile of dead horses nearby at Orr's Family Farm, victims of Monday's monster tornado.
The Cordero family duplex in southern Oklahoma City was hit hard in the twister's fierce winds and then soaked in the rains that followed. Part of the brick siding was ripped away, leaving a shape that looked like the state of Oklahoma, imprinted with plywood like a photo negative.
Next door, her uncle's home was similarly devastated. They'd spent Sunday night in his living room; his couches were now tossed upon each other. Those homes sit on the border of Moore, Okla., which was devastated in the twister.
Olga's husband, Edmundo Jaimes, 42, used his shoulder to shove open their daughter's bedroom door, and part of the ceiling fell to the floor. His daughters' beds were covered with shingles, plywood and insulation.
The sprawling Cordero clan -- which has spent time in Los Angeles, El Paso and now Oklahoma -- has been grateful for their survival.
But now, 13 Corderos are packed into one home -- that of Myra Cordero, Olga's sister, who is gracious about taking the burden -- and they are just one family among the thousands sent scrambling for shelter and looking toward recovery.
Outside Olga's ruined home, as she and her daughters squished around the soaked carpet in flip-flops, three young cousins recounted their survival at nearby Briarwood Elementary School.
"Everybody started crying and said they want their moms, and, 'We don't want to die,'" recalled Leslie Cordero, 12, a fifth-grader.
Julio, 10, was hit in the back by metal debris after the roof tore away. He had to climb out a window to escape.
"When I look up, there's a Hummer on the roof," he said.
Breanne, 7, who's in first grade, was hit in the head by some kind of debris, though she seemed more excited when talking about the aftermath.
"I was on TV!" Breanne said.
"Me too!" said Giselle Cordero, 6.
"No you weren't!" Breanne shot back.
After Breanne turned away, Giselle added quietly, "Yeah I was."
"This is bad," Julio Cordero, 40, said of his home, next door to Olga's. Half the garage has collapsed. "One day, you're watching TV in your house. Next day, it's gone."
The younger Julio then pointed at the funny shape on the side of his aunt Olga's house. "Hey, it's Oklahoma." And then he laughed.
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