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New storm shelter coming to Meridianville

WAAY 31 talked with people in the area about the project that's nearly complete.

Posted: Jul 3, 2019 7:30 PM

The new storm shelter in Meridianville is currently being installed.

It's going in at the Meridianville Volunteer Fire Department on Patterson Lane, not far from U.S. Highway 231.

WAAY 31 talked with people in the area about the project that's nearly complete.

"When we didn't have ours, we were just petrified if there was a tornado warning. What do you do? What do you do? There have been times we have driven to Fayetteville trying to beat the storm," said Andrew Hard, who lives near shelter.

People who live in Meridianville said the new storm shelter will finally give them some place to go when a tornado hits. Hard said he's lived in the area for years, and he recently broke down and bought his own shelter.

"I really wouldn't have spent almost $5,000 if I knew this one was coming up," he said.

The shelter being installed at the Meridianville Volunteer Fire Department will hold about 200 people.

Another man we talked to said he lives about two minutes from the new shelter, and has lived in Meridianville all his life. He said having the shelter will mean a lot to him as well.

"I'm proud to see this happening," William Stewart said.

Stewart said he's tried to outrun storms in the past, but having a shelter will be so much safer.

"It definitely will save some lives," Stewart said.

Commissioner Roger Jones who's over the area said the closest storm shelter for people in the neighborhood in the past was about 20 minutes away at the Moores Mill Volunteer Fire Department.

Hard said although he has a shelter of his own, he plans on checking out the new one right across the street from his home.

"If I'm in the front yard, I can run to this one. If I'm in the backyard, I can run to my other," he said.

Commissioner Jones said the storm shelter is still being installed, but it should be open for public use by the end of July. 

A storm shelter is also being installed near the Bobo Section Fire Department in Ardmore. Both shelters were funded by the federal emergency management agency, which gave about $230,000 for the project.

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