KOKOMO, Ind. (WISH) — A customer in the Kokomo Starbucks flattened by Wednesday’s storm is crediting a Starbucks employee with saving her life.
Shelly Dyer sat in a Starbucks Wednesday, chatting with colleagues, when she noticed a tornado warning on her phone.
“We get those often,” Dyer said.
She didn’t think much of it, until a Starbucks manager told customers and employees to move to the bathroom for safety.
“He was so calm that nobody was crying or screaming. We were just hoping we’d get through this.”
Dyer says the manager kept his cool even after more than 20 people crammed into two bathrooms and heard the wind whistling through the building. When drywall started falling from the bathroom ceiling, he told the everyone to get down and cover their heads.
“You could feel the building almost breathing. It was expanding and contracting,” Dyer said.
A witness’s cell phone video shows the building collapse but the bathrooms stay put.
According to Dyer, the man who shot the video rushed over to help. His name is Brandon Mobley. Dyer says he cleared bricks from the doorway and used a screwdriver to help customers open the door.
“The door fell straight back and then we could see the sky. And then we realized it was a pretty big deal what had happened,” Dyer said
What happened was an EF-3 tornado.
Dyer says if it weren’t for the manager, a man named Angel, she would have have been crushed.
“We didn’t have a thought that it was so close. Nothing was telling us that. Angel told us that,” Dyer said. “I just wanted to get home to my family.”
Dyer isn’t the only one who returned Thursday.
She spotted Angel, checking out the damage, right where she saw him last.
“I don’t know if I’m supposed to be over here,” she said as she crossed the caution tape. “But I’ve got to give you a hug.”
“You were there,” Angel said. “I’m glad you’re okay.”
“You were awesome,” Dyer said as she fought back tears. “I mean, I know you’re a young guy. You’re like a little youngin’ to your mom, probably. But you were so calming.”
“I just appreciate it,” Dyer said. “We didn’t realize what we’d gotten into, did we?”