Hale County leaders want to use American Rescue Plan money for public tornado shelters

Hale County storm shelters

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Hale County elected leaders learned the County is getting nearly $3 million in federal money last week. Now, there’s hope some of that money could be put towards building public tornado shelters.

Two tornadoes in just over a week hit Hale County hard in March. They damaged or destroyed more than 150 homes, according to Hale County’s EMA Director. On Thursday, Congresswoman Terri Sewell told them that Hale County was getting $2.84 million dollars from the government through the American Rescue Plan. Hale County Probate Judge Arthur Crawford said the County could get half of that some time between mid-May and early June.

They still need guidance from the Treasury Department to determine if any of that money could be put towards tornado shelters. If Hale County gets clearance, Judge Crawford said getting community storm shelters is on the list of priorities where some of that money should go. Crawford added it’s too early to say what the process could be to decide where shelters could go.

He did say Hale County could get the second installment of federal money about a year after the first installment is received. Hale County has one community storm shelter in Newbern that holds about 100 people.

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