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Lee County Commission authorizes tornado shelter study

Updated: May. 31, 2017 at 9:17 PM CDT
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LEE COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - The Lee County Commission has authorized a tornado shelter study.

Lee County Emergency Management Agency will work with the Department of Geosciences at Auburn University to conduct a study on potential tornado shelter locations throughout the county.

The findings will help the EMA identify potential sites that offer shelter to the greatest number of local residents. Right now there is only one public tornado shelter in the county. That shelter is located at Southern Union State Community College.

Key factors in determining locations will be population, the social and economic vulnerability status and public places where large concentrations
of people might gather in an unprotected location.

"There is very much a need for serving the population that is vulnerable to these types of events and may not be able to afford to install their own shelter. We want to make sure we are serving the vulnerable population and have what's needed to protect them. Storm shelters save lives. In home sheltering saves live," said Lee County EMA Director Katherine Carson.

The project will start immediately and its expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The cost of the study is around $4,000. As to when people could see another shelter built that may take some time because the Lee County EMA will have to try to obtain any funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to cover those costs.

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