Tallapoosa County community receives new storm shelter

New storm shelter built in Tallapoosa County

DAVISTON, Ala. (WSFA) - Forty-eight feet long. 10 feet wide. Solid white and strong!

“The most important thing to me is it can save lives," said Daviston native Ginger East.

East had hoped this day would come, because Alabama often gets reminded tornadoes don’t care what it’s in the way.

“You can’t put a number or an amount on a life," East said.

The entire tube-like shelter is solid steel, anchored down in concrete which goes 24 inches deep. How Daviston landed the storm shelter is a story in itself.

“When we had that local emergency planning committee meeting. There was a limited amount of people who showed up. The mayor of Daviston, Joe Clark showed up, couple of others and we drew names out the hat and he was the lucky guy," said Tallapoosa County Emergency Management Agency Director Jason Moran.

“They’re rural up here on this end of the county and they don’t have a lot of places for public shelters, for the people to come to," said Tallapoosa County Commissioner John McKevley.

Perhaps the most important component is its strength. Strong enough we’re told to withstand an EF-5 tornado.

“Which is greater than 200 mph," said Moran.

The tornado shelter has the capacity of 87 but it could take in a few more. That’s a good thing, because the population of Daviston is around 200.

“I am very thankful for that,” said East.

'Thankful’ in knowing their new home away from home during threatening weather is close by.

Moran says it costs more than $108,000 to build the new shelter. Daviston got the funds through state EMA grants. Moran says they plan to add restrooms in the shelter in the near future.

Daviston, Alabama town sign.
Daviston, Alabama town sign. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

Copyright 2019 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.