Two women turned away from Springfield business during tornado warning

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. We learned, again, over the weekend severe weather can hit the Ozarks at any time.

Always having a plan while at home is one thing but what if you're out on the road.

It happened to a woman and her daughter last week. Amanda Kennell and her daughter Ollie Bandy thought they'd found shelter at a local convenience store. They were asked to leave.

"I knew they said we were supposed to have some weather but I had also heard that the tornado risk was pretty low," said Kennell.

She didn't hesitate to head to Springfield to pick up her daughter.

"It was raining and a little windy but it wasn't real bad," she said.

The pair started their drive back to Clever.

"We're like well, we're doing alright and then we heard sirens," said Kennell.

They had nowhere to go so they pulled into the Kum & Go Convenience store on Sunshine and Scenic, hoping to wait out the storm.

Kennell said, "The kid behind the counter said, sure not a problem, you'll have to stay in the bathroom though. I was like, that's great. This place has a glass front I'd rather be in the bathroom."

However, that quickly changed.

"He came and knocked on the door and said I just talked to my manager. He said the tornado hasn't touched down yet. You need to hurry home. He just said well maybe you could go around it," explained Kennell.

Kennell and her daughter left the store.

"The rain was just coming down in sheets and you could see trash and stuff blowing everywhere. We're going to die. We're going to die," she said.

Bandy said, "I wasn't scared so much as I was worried for her. Whenever she gets stressed out she starts having little contractions."

Kennell is a few months pregnant.

She contacted Kum & Go's corporate offices to let them know what happened.

"Well I've talked to Kum & Go and Kum & Go said that's not their policy," she said.

In fact, this is exactly what we were told in an email.

The company's policy when it comes to severe weather, specifically tornadoes is that safety comes first. Everyone in the store is escorted to the bathroom or backroom area until the threat passes if they choose to stay. If they'd rather leave, associates walk them to their vehicles.

The company explained that the associate didn't handle the situation as they'd hoped.

"Maybe they need to train their employees better on how to handle the situation so that they know how to handle it for the safety of the customers and themselves," said Kennell.

She and her daughter are thankful they made it through the storm.

She said, "I don't know what I would have done differently in this situation. It's hard to think about. I've tried to come up with a plan since then, in case something like this happens again. They always tell you to seek shelter and I feel like that's what I did!"

The pair were able to seek shelter at another local business.

A representative for Kum & Go said they will plan to provide additional training for their employees.

Read the original version of this article at www.kspr.com.