Customers thrown outside as tornado threatened Mississippi town
STARKVILLE, Miss. — Late Saturday evening, a tornado warning was issued for the college town of Starkville, Mississippi. A large tornado was confirmed to be on the ground, and moving toward the town.
Almost all establishments encouraged customers to seek shelter within their business. Customers were taken to walk-in freezers, and cellars for protection as the tornado passed through town, causing damage to sections of the city.
Some establishments in town did the opposite; they threw customers outside into the storm, as the confirmed tornado moved toward the town.
This occurred in a popular section of town that includes bars, restaurants and other entertainment. It was a Saturday night, and the establishments were full of patrons.
Upon hearing of the tornado warning, security at several of these establishments began yelling and screaming at customers to leave. There are videos on Facebook showing people were pushed out, crying and overwhelmed by the situation. People were told to seek shelter in their cars.
Mississippi is no stranger to tornadoes. One of the worst tornado outbreaks in history took place in the region April of 2011.
The tornado did eventually cause damage to the town, but missed the mentioned area by approximately 2-3 miles.
The reasoning for the behavior by the establishments remains unclear, but the customers, media, other businesses and community leaders have expressed outrage this morning over the incident, promising to boycott the businesses involved.