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New storm shelters coming to Madison County

The federal funding for the shelters was approved more than two years after it was requested.

Posted: Feb. 8, 2019 5:18 PM
Updated: Feb. 8, 2019 7:00 PM

One Madison County community is relieved a storm shelter is being built in their area. The new shelter will go in behind the Meridianville Volunteer Fire Department on Patterson Lane, not too far from U.S. Highway 231.

Jenell Adkins said she's lived in the area for 40 years and her family has had to stay at home every time a bad storm hits.

"If we had a place to go, a shelter to go to, then we would definitely go to it," she said.

In the coming months, a new storm shelter that can hold about 200 people will be built less than a mile away from Adkins' home. It's something that's been in the works for a while.

"We've been trying for over two years to get this shelter here at Meridianville Volunteer Fire Department, but getting the grant took a long time," said Commissioner Roger Jones, who oversees the area.

Jones explained the Federal Emergency Management Agency has picked up the majority of the tab with taxpayers only spending about $30,000 for the new shelter.

He said the closest storm shelter is currently about 20 minutes away on Moores Mill Road, and the one built in Meridianville will be nearly identical.

"This is tornado alley. There are some really bad tornadoes that come through ... and this may be able to save some lives," Jones said.

Adkins said her family will definitely take advantage of the new shelter.

"You don't want to be in that situation, because it doesn't take but one storm to kill you," she said.

Jones said he hopes to have this site prepped in the next 30 days and have the storm shelter built by the beginning of summer.

Two new storm shelters will be built with money from FEMA, totalling about $230,000. The other shelter will be built near Bobo Section Fire Department in Ardmore.

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