SHAWNEE, OKLAHOMA, U.S. — Shawnee Milling Co., a 107-year-old family-owned flour and corn meal manufacturer located 40 miles east of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S., escaped any damage from the tornado super cell that hit the area on May 19. 

“We’re fine and we sure appreciate everybody thinking of us,” said Bill Ford, president of Shawnee Milling. He said the mill is located in downtown Shawnee, a community of 30,000, and was northwest of the tornado’s path. 

He said the tornado was a slow moving one and gave residents “plenty of time to get to shelters.” Shawnee is located in what is often referred to as “tornado alley” and structures are usually built with that in mind.

Shelters and safe rooms are a common feature of building construction in the region. An employee at the mill said she waited out the storm in a safe room with 13 other people and “I was happy to be there.” 

Shawnee Milling produces 7,000 cwts a day of wheat flour and 3,000 cwts a day of corn meal, Ford said.