Michiana woman seeks answers after local Speedway kicks her out during tornado

NOW: Michiana woman seeks answers after local Speedway kicks her out during tornado


SOUTH BEND, Ind – Sunday’s tornado damaged homes, downed power lines and one local Osceola woman was left puzzled why a local gas station wouldn’t let her take cover in their store.

“I mean they tell you all kinds of other things like no shirt no service we take cash only all this kind of stuff but no we close for tornado warnings you know,” Osceola resident and grandmother Katheryn Ryan said.

Sunday’s EF-2 tornado swept through South Bend and Katheryn Ryan described where she sought shelter when the storm passed through.

“It was pouring down rain just pouring down rain and normally it doesn’t bother me to drive in rain but I needed gas in the car so I thought rather than to drive I’ll just get some gas under that roof,” Ryan said.

Ms. Ryan said the manager at the Speedway near the intersection of Miami Street and Ireland road told her and her grandson to leave during the height of the storm.

“I walked up to the door and the manager said to me you know he was putting a sign in the window and he said to me we’re closing and I said where am I supposed to go then I said and I thought I’m at a gas station then he said It’s their policy to close because of liability,” Ryan said.

ABC57 reached out to Speedway where we were directed to the district manager who didn’t anser or return our repeated calls.

St. Joseph County’s Director of Emergency Management John Antonucci said he is pleased with the city’s response to the unexpected storm. 

“I don’t think we have any closed thoroughfares the county highway crews were out late last night cleaning debris from roadways ready for the morning commute as you can see around you the damage is somewhat significant and I think there’s probably a week or two of clean-up,” Antonucci said.

Ms. Ryan said she’s pleased that there weren’t any fatalities but she would like to hear Speedway’s response to the inquiries about their severe weather policy.

“It was scary you know when it’s actually happening and you think you’re going to get blown away it’s scary and it goes back to politeness and common courtesy,” Ryan said

At the time of this story Speedway’s “District Manager” has not responded to ABC57's questions.

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