Walker County storm shelters could be put to use

NAUVOO, Ala. (WIAT) — Two Walker County towns became the first in the country to get a community storm shelter in place and they could be put to the test during the next 24 to 36 hours.

Walker County was one of the areas hit hard by the 2011 tornadoes, and the storm shelters are a welcome site.

They are the first of 21 which will eventually be spread out throughout the county.

“This is kind of a retirement community, and we need a place for our older people to go to,” Mayor Dwight Byram says.

Nauvoo’s storm shelter is bolted down and ready to take in more than 100 people, which is a relief for council member Gene McDaniel, who has seen his share of storm damage.

Trees still remains uprooted from the April 27, 2011 tornadoes along with piles of trees cleaned up from recent storms.

Mayor Byram and McDaniel want as many people to know about the new shelter as possible.

Then people will just have to take advantage of it,” Byram said. “There’s lots of house trailers around and they really just come apart quicker than a house will, so it will really be good for people who live in mobile homes.”

The shelter is located at the Nauvoo Park next to the old junior high school.

The mayor says the city still needs to connect power and water to the shelter in the next few weeks, but in an emergency they’re ready to use today.

The Thach storm shelter is located 1220 Thach Loop, which is right by the old Thach School.

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