City of Kimberly moving forward with tornado safe house

Kimberly safe house plans

KIMBERLY, AL (WBRC) - The city of Kimberly is moving forward with a tornado safehouse.

Phyllis Brown shows us the spot in her front yard where a tree broke off its stump and fell onto her car.

“And I seen that tree laying right in the middle of my car, and it was pouring down rain and I just cried right along with it!” says Brown.

The 2014 tornado was devastating to the city of Kimberly. That’s why they’re so excited about a safe house the city is planning to build.

“Oh, yeah, there’s a good many older people who live here, so you know, it’ll be greatly appreciated!”

City councilman Robert Mashburn says the engineers originally hired to build the storm shelter four years ago will not be part of the new project.

“The price went up three times of what they initially quoted us for a building that would only house 60 individuals. And that’s where we have found that if we spend just a little extra, we could get a building that will accommodate a hundred plus people,” says Mashburn.

The shelter will be built here in Kimberly Municipal Park.

“It’ll have to be handicap accessible and it’ll have to have facilities inside and it’s going to be a dome sized facility. It will not be one of the cylinders you see that many municipalities have,” says City council member Robert Mashburn.

Right now, the nearest safe house is in Warrior, about eight miles away. City officials believe this shelter will cost a little over $100,000 and will be covered by a FEMA grant. The city will apply for additional funds to cover the rest. They’re not sure of a timeline, but for folks living here, especially in mobile homes, it can’t come soon enough.

“Wonderful! I’m just very shocked, I mean surprised! But I’m glad!” says Brown.

The structure will be around 900 square feet. They’re still waiting for final plans from the architect and will talk more about the project in their October 9th meeting.

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