Love's Travel Stop Employees, Customers Hid in Freezers to Avoid Tornado
The Love's Travel Stop was leveled during a tornado outbreak Monday.
All employees and customers took cover and were safe.
The roof of the Love's convenience store was completely torn off by high winds.
CHOCTAW, Oklahoma -- About 80 people took cover at a Love's Travel Stop at Interstate 40 and Choctaw Road during the tornado outbreak.
As the storm drew closer, everyone headed inside, including District Manager Warren Waltz who just happened to be in the area.
"My big concern was just everyone's safety, of course myself included, just hoping we had everyone in a safe place and everyone was going to come through," Waltz said.
Waltz and his employees got customers into the bathrooms, a small hallway, several freezers, and the large cooler. But Waltz and another employee only had time to hit the floor in the center of the store as the roof was ripped off above him, landing all over the nearby hill.
"It's an experience that I've often wondered about being a native of Oklahoman, I certainly got to experience it first-hand, I hope it's the last time I have that opportunity, but it worked out of the best all things considered," Waltz said.
According to the Love's corporate office, employees and customers are all safe.
The Love's corporation plans to rebuild at the same location. Once everything is cleared out the rebuild could take about four months. The 25 employees of the Choctaw location will be taken care of by the company.
A nearby Sonic was heavily damaged. Roads are littered with debris and overturned cars and I-40 westbound and eastbound was shut down at Choctaw Road due to downed power lines.