Colbert County sanitizes community storm shelter to fight coronavirus

The county has dozens of community storm shelters.

Posted: Mar 20, 2020 4:11 PM
Updated: Mar 20, 2020 8:27 PM

Colbert County employees sanitized some 26 community storm shelters in preparation for possible severe weather during this coronavirus outbreak.

The shelters can hold about 100 to 150 people and other shelters are large enough to hold up to 250 people at a time. In a time of social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic having that many people in one place would not be ideal.

That's why county maintenance employees have spent the last several days wiping down the shelters. Employees normally clean the shelters and rid them of leaves or bugs, but this time they are doing a full wipe down.

"Clean em down get them ready for any tornadic weather. Make sure all the bad germs are gone. Clorox 'em down, wipe 'em down. Acid wash the toilets whatever we have to do to keep the public safe as much as we can," said Heath Armstrong, as he was wiping down a shelter in Sheffield.

Colbert Emergency Management Director Michael Smith said the shelters will open as they normally do during severe weather. Smith is urging people to wear protective gear like gloves or masks if they have it to the shelter and to practice social distancing if it's not crowded in the shelter.

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