Grandmother: I'm afraid to go in my shelter - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Grandmother: I'm afraid to go in my storm shelter

Posted: Updated:
  • More newsMore>>

  • Teacher hit by train expected to make full recovery

    Teacher hit by train expected to make full recovery

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 2:50 AM EDT2014-07-29 06:50:03 GMT
    Officials at the Smiths Station Fire Department say the victim, later identified as Vivian Martin, was transported to Midtown Medical Center with what appeared to be non life-threatening injuries.More >>
    Multiple sources tell News Leader 9 that a Smiths Station teacher was hit by a train earlier today in Lee County.

    Officials at the Smiths Station Fire Department say the victim, later identified as Vivian Martin, was transported to Midtown Medical Center with what appeared to be non life-threatening injuries.
    More >>
  • Study: 35 percent in US facing debt collectors

    Study: 35 percent in US facing debt collectors

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 1:25 AM EDT2014-07-29 05:25:07 GMT
    More than 35 percent of Americans have debts and unpaid bills that have been reported to collection agencies, according to a study released Tuesday by the Urban Institute.More >>
    More than 35 percent of Americans have debts and unpaid bills that have been reported to collection agencies, according to a study released Tuesday by the Urban Institute.More >>
  • Foul play not ruled out in fatal Wilcox County blaze

    Foul play not ruled out in fatal Wilcox Co. blaze

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 12:23 AM EDT2014-07-29 04:23:03 GMT
    Mable Davis could do nothing but watch as flames devoured the home across the street, where her sister, Patricia Nickelson had been staying with her long time boyfriend. He got out of the burning houseMore >>
    Multiple calls and email to the WSFA 12 Newsroom took our news crews to the town of Camden. Two recent deadly fires there have many in the community on edge. The families of the victims want answers.  Are the fires related?  Do authorities suspect arson? WSFA took their questions to county and state officials.
    More >>
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A 70-year-old grandmother living in a mobile home says the $5,000 storm shelter she had installed in 2012 is flooding and she is afraid to go inside.

The company that installed the shelter maintains they did nothing wrong.

Anne Roberson is deeply afraid of storms, and every time she hears tornadoes are in the forecast, she wants to run to the storm shelter behind her mobile home.

Instead, she won't go inside.

"I mean, you just fear. You just fear for your life," Roberson said.

Roberson's clam-shell design storm shelter leaks from the bottom, the center and the ceiling.

"It just got so full," Roberson said. "I just said, 'I don't feel safe in it.'"

Wayne Copeland, the owner of the company that installed the shelter, Morrison Tank and Vault, said they have been in business since 1989 and have gotten few complaints about leaking.

"Well, has the door been left open or something? It wasn't leaking when we was down there," Copeland said.

Roberson said the last time Copeland came to see her shelter, it was because the turbine on top wasn't working and a toxic smell made it difficult to remain inside.

Roberson said one of Copeland's crew repaired the turbine and removed some of the middle sealant to take away the smell.

But when some of the sealant was stripped away, Roberson said it started to flood.

"I noticed it was running down the side," Roberson said.

"So you say no one with your group took out that sealant?" asked chief investigative reporter Jeremy Finley.

"No," Copeland said.

The Channel 4 I-Team showed photographs of the leaking water to one of the country's leading experts on storm shelters.

He suspects the concrete wasn't treated properly to block out water - both above ground and beneath.

"The shelter could take in a fair amount of water, especially how it's improperly sealed," said Larry Tanner, a researcher at the National Wind Institute at Texas Tech University. "The only way to fix it is to replace the shelter."

Because the shelter was installed in 2012, Copeland says he can't remember if they water-proofed the exterior of the shelter.

He says they do it if a customer asks for it.

Roberson didn't know and she even had to ask.

"She says her frustration is that she got this storm shelter because she gets really scared during storms and now she has a useless storm shelter. What do you think about that?" Finley asked.

"Well, I'll try to make it right. I'm offering to give it to her. When you're saying water's in it, I'd like to see it. I just can't believe it," Copeland said.

Roberson complained to the Better Business Bureau, and her case was headed for arbitration but she pulled out once she decided to hire a lawyer.

Copeland says his company sold 60 to 70 of these shelters last year alone and didn't have a complaint last year.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Grandmother: I'm afraid to go in my storm shelterMore>>

Powered by WorldNow