Worried family checks on grandmother after hurricane by ordering pizza to her house

'Police and fire couldn't do it, but Papa John's got there in 30 minutes,' says grandson

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The Independent US

A US family worried about their grandmother after Hurricane Matthew were relieved when they were able to contact her – via a pepperoni pizza. 

Relatives of 87-year-old Claire Olsen became concerned when they could not reach her after the hurricane hit her home town of Palm Coast, Florida on Saturday.

After numerous attempts, they made a last-ditch effort to speak to her – by ordering a pizza to her house.

Ms Olsen’s grandson, Eric, told ABC News he became worried after hearing his grandmother, who lives alone, had lost electricity as a result of the storm.

He said: “I talked to her on Friday morning, and she had just lost power, and she said, 'This is a nightmare'. And then we didn't hear from her for two days."

Mr Olsen lives several thousand miles away in Nebraska, while his father is in South Dakota and his sister in Los Angeles.

The family contacted local authorities in an attempt to ask someone to check on Ms Olsen but were unable to get through. 

Mr Olsen said: "I was calling the police department, I was calling the sheriff's department, and no one was answering, so I was really worried."

In a last-ditch attempt to confirm his grandparent was OK, he decided to call the one place he was confident would pick up – the local pizza store.

He said: "I was just thinking, 'Who can go there right now? Who can I call in a city where I know no one?'"

Mr Olsen ordered a pepperoni pizza to his grandmother’s house and asked the driver to call his mobile phone when the pizza was delivered. 

He then asked to be passed to Claire Olsen and was able to confirm she was safe and well. 

The 87-year-old originally told the driver that she had not ordered anything, but after hearing what had happened she allowed him in – on the condition he had also brought garlic butter sauce.

Mr Olsen said he felt “relief, absolute relief” when he heard her voice.

"Police and fire couldn't do it, but Papa John's got there in 30 minutes and put the cellphone to her ear," he added.

Ms Olsen said it was best pepperoni pizza she had ever had and showed the delivery driver her family photo albums. 

The deliveryman, Lance Tyler, told WFTV: “Her expression was just priceless”.