Jefferson Co. to build more storm shelters despite dwindling federal funds

Jefferson Co. to build more storm shelters despite dwindling federal funds
JeffCo looking to build more shelters (Source: WBRC Fox6 News)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Jefferson County will soon run out of federal funds for building storm shelters.

Jefferson County received federal funds for the storm shelters after the 2011 tornadoes. The funds can only go to those areas where there was damage from those storms.

Concord’s storm shelter was completed after delays and problems with the original contractor. Seven storm shelters have been built using the 2011 federal funds.

Two more should be completed in the next 60-90 days. A contract should be given soon for a Hueytown storm shelter which will be built near Hueytown Elementary.

These are multipurposes buildings. They can be used as a shelter and community meetings.

The county is appropriating more funds to build basic storm shelters. The eight to nine shelters will be made out of concrete and steel.

“The commission has approved in its upcoming budget about a million dollars for storm shelters - pre-fab facilities where you just sit there until the time the storm passes over,” said Frederick Hamilton, Director of Jefferson County’s Community and Economic Development.

While the federal funds have to be spent in areas where there was previous tornado damage, the county hopes to build new storm shelters in areas designated as having the greatest need.

Jefferson County Emergency Management will help the county determine those areas.

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