The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Z_CNHI News Service

November 18, 2013

Walk-in beer coolers shelter 100 storm survivors

KOKOMO, Ind. — Alex Binkley, manager-in-training at Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, got an unexpected lesson Sunday afternoon in coping with the sudden fear of a severe storm strike.

"As soon as I felt the wind beating up against the walls, I knew we were going to get hit," he recalled.  "All our lights started shaking. All the TVs started shaking. Then the lights went out and the wind hit."

Binkley said he quickly directed more than two-dozen customers and employees into the restaurant's three walk-in food and beer coolers. They were soon joined by shoppers from nearby stores in the Kokomo Mall, including several people from J.C. Penney's, where the ceiling caved in.

By the time the ferocious winds hit their peak, said Binkley, 100 survivors were huddled safely in the coolers, waiting out the storm.

"Every building (in the mall) except ours pretty much got destroyed," he said. "But everybody here stayed pretty calm."

Binkley declared he restaurant and its coolers the "savior of the mall."

Authorities said Kokomo, located 60 miles north of Indianapolis, was the Indiana city hardest hit by Sunday's severe thunderstorms and tornadoes that swept across the Midwest. More than 6,000 homes and businesses lost power in and around Kokomo. There were no reports of death.

A few miles from the mall, Michael Gardner, 21, had just returned home with four of his friends from a church luncheon when the first tornado warnings occurred. Gardner said they scrambled from the second floor of the home to the basement just in time, with the last person jumping down the basement stairs as the house began to move.

In an instant, he said, the wind caused the house to collapse, burying Gardner and his friends in rubble. But none of them were harmed.

Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • taylor.armerding.jpg Declare your independence from empty slogans

    'Independence Day' is now an ironic celebration in a country where the president promotes government dependence over actual freedom, and where bumper-sticker slogans have replaced actual, independent thought.

    July 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • President Barack Obama mug Best president? Worst president? Don't read too much into those polls

    The questions about who are the best and worst post-WWII presidents are useless. What they mainly show is that Republicans are far more unified around a single story than are Democrats.

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Taxi owners, government patrons try forcing Uber to go 'off-duty'

    Uber gives urban passengers an enticing alternative. Rides on-demand arrive faster than taxis, are cheaper and cleaner, and get rated by customers. Rather than hail innovation, government enablers are helping the heavily regulated taxicab industry freeze out the upstart.

    June 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • lawgrad.jpg Things looking up for law school grads

    This might sound weird, but here goes: Now might be a pretty good time to think about law school. For the sixth year running, the employment rate fell, as schools produced a record number of graduates for an industry without the room for them. There was, however, a nugget of good news buried in the data.

    June 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140625-AMX-HEALTH-EXERCISE252.jpg Fitness program caters to people with developmental disabilities

    Spirit - which stands for "Social Physical Interactive Respectful Inclusive Teamwork" - offers classes that help clients with developmental disabilities build muscle, increase flexibility and improve their diets. As a population, they have limited opportunities when it comes to health, Smith says. "And a lot need more social interaction," he adds.

    June 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • twitter.jpg Mobile web siphoning revenue from U.S. cities as landlines fade

    Tweeting, Facebooking, Skyping smartphone users are costing U.S. states and cities revenue as taxes rooted in old-fashioned telephone service fail to keep up with the Internet era.

    June 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 10.42.53 AM.png VIDEO: Police say thief forgets to log off Facebook while robbing home

    A Minnesota man was jailed after he logged on to Facebook from a home he broke into, then forgot to log out.

    June 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • breaking-up.jpg Thinking about breaking up? Flip a coin

    In their latest book, 'Think Like a Freak," Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner suggest that, contrary to what many people have told you in life, you should quit. That is, when things get tough, you shouldn't always tough them out and stick with it. Instead, you should quit and do so sooner rather than later.

    June 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Starbucks tests Greek yogurt smoothies in California, Missouri

    Starbucks Corp., which started selling handmade sodas in the southern United States Tuesday, is now testing three flavors of Greek-yogurt smoothies as it continues trying to broaden its appeal beyond coffee.

    June 24, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Honor Gwynn by remembering where he went wrong

    Baseball All-Star Tony Gwynn was felled by a disease he blamed on smokeless tobacco. May the Padre be remembered for his personality and batting average - and also for the cautionary tale he left for younger players.

    June 24, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Featured Comment
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide