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.