(KMOV) – A woman who tried to seek shelter at a local McDonald's during a severe storm warning last week was turned away.
Erin Pennington of New England had never experienced a tornado warning before, and upon hearing the tornado warning, she went to the closest place she saw while driving in Granite City.
But when a manager confronted her inside, she says she was surprised and frustrated.
“That person came forward with a sign - a handwritten sheet of copy paper that the restaurant was closed, and that per company policy, we all had to exit the restaurant,” says Pennington.
Pennington says she dug her heels in and refused to leave. Three other women and a small child taking shelter in a restroom did the same.
The National Weather Service say they have never heard of a business refusing to offer shelter. A spokesperson for McDonald's said that it is not company policy to force customers out during a storm, and that safety is its number one priority.
In a statement, a spokesperson said, “We closed the restaurant during the storm and gave our customers the opportunity to seek shelter in the restaurant. We regret if there was any misunderstanding during this anxious time for everyone.”
Pennington says that she is just glad that in the end, she got to stay inside until the storm passed by.
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