Moore Store Manager Protects More Than 60 People From Tornado - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Moore Store Manager Protects More Than 60 People From Tornado

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Adam Stutzman is a lifelong Chouteau man, who moved to Moore for work eight years ago. Adam Stutzman is a lifelong Chouteau man, who moved to Moore for work eight years ago.
More than 60 people packed into the cooler. The children who were there took cover under a table. More than 60 people packed into the cooler. The children who were there took cover under a table.
Somehow, the storm shifted, leaving both the store and everyone inside unscathed. But it was a different story for the blocks and blocks of homes surrounding the market. Somehow, the storm shifted, leaving both the store and everyone inside unscathed. But it was a different story for the blocks and blocks of homes surrounding the market.
MOORE, Oklahoma -

We're still hearing stories of heroism coming from Moore, including that of one Green Country man who helped saved dozens of lives in that tornado.

Adam Stutzman is a lifelong Chouteau native, who moved to Moore for work eight years ago.

"It was just a monster and it was just chewing up everything, and you could just hear it grinding up, as they say, grinding up everything in its path," Stutzman said.

It was a moment of fury, quieted by courage.

"It was just so quick, everything was just going so fast, I didn't have time to think. We knew we had to get everybody safe," he said.

Stutzman was managing the Walmart Neighborhood Market Monday, when tornado sirens sounded throughout the town. He said the TV weathermen called out his store specifically, saying the tornado was headed straight for it.

"We have some lights in the deli that hang down and they started swinging, then the store kind of started shaking," Stutzman said.

The store doesn't have an underground shelter, but it does have a plan in place. So Stutzman, and his employees, acted fast to make sure the customers, young and old and every age in between, could ride out the storm safely.

Complete Coverage: May 2013 Tornado Outbreak

"It's kind of a building inside a building, so everybody felt a little bit safer inside that cooler," Stutzman said.

More than 60 people packed into the cooler. The children who were there took cover under a table. It's about 40 degrees inside, so they were using the smocks employees wear in the deli to cover up.

"[We] count our blessings, it was extremely lucky that it didn't hit us head on, because it was headed straight for us," Stutzman said.

Somehow, the storm shifted, leaving both the store and everyone inside unscathed. But it was a different story for the blocks and blocks of homes surrounding the market.

"We just seen complete devastation out to the west of us, and to the south of us was just sheer devastation. The church behind us was half-leveled," Stutzman said. "We're really fortunate, just really, really fortunate."

There was no phone service inside the store, so Stutzman said he kept running from the meat locker to the deli, where he could see a TV and stay updated on where the storm was headed.

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