The cooler at the Love’s Travel Stop store at Interstate 40 and Choctaw Road in Oklahoma City became a makeshift shelter for dozens of motorists as tornadoes blitzed the metro area Monday. One of the tornadoes ripped apart the service station as people huddled on the floor next to the beer and sodas. Chris Moore, 31, of Midwest City, was driving west on the highway on his way home from Wewoka when he noticed gathering storm clouds. He was near McLoud when he first thought he would have to pull over before he got home. Moore pulled off the highway into the Love’s for cover. "I was sitting (in my car) under the awning where the semi-trucks fill up, and then there was a police officer telling people on a loudspeaker to get in the store,” Moore said Monday night. One of the managers told people inside the store to get in the cooler. "You could kind of see it (the tornado) coming, but you couldn’t tell at first whether it was going to come at us or go the other way,” Moore said. "And then it was almost like it was right behind her (the manager). And she was still trying to get people in the cooler. We all huddled on the floor, and the wind came and got real loud. The roof came off, everything was blowing around.” Moore said he and the other people in the store waited a tense few minutes before feeling safe that the worst was over. The lifelong Oklahoma resident escaped with no worse than superficial damage to his car from the gas station’s awning, which struck the car as it fell. "My wife and I got into an argument this morning about one of the cars not having gas in it,” Moore said. "It really puts things like that in perspective. You don’t want to be worrying about stuff like whether there’s gas in both of the cars.”
‘A big rush of wind’Across the road, Haley Jolly, 18, of Del City, is a carhop at Sonic. Jolly said four people were on the job at Sonic, and one customer was in the dining room when the tornado hit. "We just felt like a big rush of wind,” she said. "We all ran into the walk-in (freezer). It was shaking.” Jolly said the door to the walk-in freezer doesn’t lock for safety reasons, so the door was banging open and shut. After the tornado passed over and they surveyed the damage, "there was cow poop all over the place,” Jolly said. The drive-in’s car stalls and patio tables were broken. "It was really scary,” Jolly said. The Love’s was "totally gone,” she said, and lots of houses had missing roofs.