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More than 100 employees and customers at a home improvement store, crammed shoulder-to-shoulder seeking safety from one of the deadly storms that ripped through the South, screamed in near unison once the steel roof curled off overhead, the store's manager said Sunday.
They all made it out alive Saturday, thanks to quick action by Lowe's store manager Michael Hollowell and his employees, who carried out an emergency response plan they had learned. They herded everyone to the windowless rear area of the store, away from the direct hit out front.
"You could hear all the steel ripping. People screaming in fear for their lives," Hollowell told The Associated Press.
Hollowell and his employees deserve credit for moving customers to a safe zone in the store about 40 miles south of Raleigh, said Sanford police Capt. J.R. Weeks.
"It can't help but have saved lives," he said. Since most of the damage was in the front, getting them farther away likely prevented some people from harm.