April 13, 2019. 10:13 pm. A tornado touches down in Starkville near the Mississippi State Campus. It's the Saturday night of Super Bulldog Weekend and the Cotton District is full, despite the looming threat of bad weather. Suddenly, "The Bin", as it is affectionately called by students and locals alike, starts to kick out the intoxicated students into the streets as the tornado gets closer. The videos of the event show staff standing on tables, yelling, cursing, and threatening to call the police on those who refuse to leave. Following this, Facebook absolutely explodes in outrage. Almost a full day later, The Bin issues the following statement:
STATEMENT BY BIN 612 CHEF AND OWNER TY THAMES: We take the concerns of our customers, employees and our Starkville community very seriously. We would like to address the safety concerns brought up in regards to the emergency event last night in the Cotton District. First and foremost, we are very thankful that no one in the Cotton District or anywhere else in Starkville was injured last night due to the severe weather. Bin 612, along with most other establishments in the Cotton District, is comprised of exterior wall to wall glass windows. The overwhelming majority of the seating for the restaurant is on the outdoor patio with the interior space having an indoor occupancy capacity of 99 people. There is no adequate indoor shelter space for what was in excess of 250 people. All indoor spaces in the restaurant face the exterior wall to wall glass windows. There is an underground storage cellar that was utilized and able to provide shelter for approximately 15 people. Due to these safety concerns, security personnel at five Cotton District area restaurants, including Bin 612, made the decision together to close at the same time before the potential tornado was to touch down in the immediate area in an effort to give patrons time to leave and find a safe space, including the underground parking structure directly across the street. We certainly do not condone the language or aggressive behavior of any of the security company's personnel or our staff. We know that the intent of the security personnel and our staff was to prevent serious injuries from occurring inside of glass enclosed rooms. The intent was for people to leave with time to get to a safe space, including the underground parking garage directly across the street. Any security company we work with in the future will need to not only be able to clearly execute the evacuation plan to the underground
parking garage in the event of a possible tornado but also to do so in a calm and compassionate manner.
Personally, I can understand the decision Bin 612 made to kick the people out. The Bin is small and almost exclusively made out of glass. Their basement is cramped and contains their office and holds the liquor supply. The steps down to the basement also have no railings and therefore a fall risk. Honestly, it's more of a liability on them to let them stay than it would be for them to kick them out. There was also a concrete parking structure for them to retreat into. Further, THEY KNOW HOW TO PAY ATTENTION TO THE WEATHER. Everyone knew how the weather was going to be. This outrage seems to be that these students are trying to displace blame on someone else for their negative decisions. But, what do yall think, leave a comment below