Restaurant worker protects diners from Lebanon storm - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Restaurant worker protects diners from Lebanon storm

Updated:
The Boone County Sheriff's Department got video of the tornado near Lebanon Sunday. The Boone County Sheriff's Department got video of the tornado near Lebanon Sunday.
Steve Detro helped get customers at Penn Station to a safe place. Steve Detro helped get customers at Penn Station to a safe place.
LEBANON -

A restaurant worker in Lebanon moved diners to safety when he saw a tornado approaching Sunday.

"Just happened to look up and over and saw a tornado form right over the interstate over there," said Steve Detro.

Detro was on the grill Penn Station Sunday when the funnel cloud suddenly appeared. He said about 10-15 customers were inside the restaurant at the time.

"A real thin funnel cloud with a bunch of debris flying around it," Detro said. "I said, 'Okay everybody, it's time to get everybody into the bathroom. There's a tornado coming across the street."

As the customers crowded in, Detro stood outside the door, mesmerized.

"I heard things hitting the building," he said. "Just to the right of that is where it formed and then it ran just straight over this way."

The tornado lifted garages from their foundations, propelling cars across backyards and uprooting trees, all in a swath of the 1400 block of neighboring streets.

"I was in the living room, inside the house," said Craig Saucier, who said he heard "a bunch of rumbling. I didn't know it was coming like that."

His home was in line for a direct hit by the EF-2 tornado. He was able to get his children to safety.

"Throwed them in a little closet area in the middle of the house. Picked one up while she was asleep. Put her in there. The other one, she went to the back and I pulled her out of the bathtub and put her in there," he said.

But he couldn't protect his favorite hangout.

"That was my garage, my workshop. My livelihood was in there and that's it. They could have taken my house over my garage, to be honest with you, wouldn't have bothered me as much," he said.

The Birchwood Family Dental Office was also in striking distance, between the Starbucks coffee shop and the neighborhood.

"It looks like the roof was sucked up, then dropped back down," said business owner Karri Krueger.

Just a step outside her back door, she finds she's one of the lucky ones.

"Look how close that was to us, you guys!" she said. "I think it touched down right there. We are so blessed!"

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